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Aquamanile in the Form of a Lion

A work made of copper alloy.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of copper alloy.


c. 1350


Follower of Johannes Apengeter
(German, active about 1325-50)

About this artwork

As the name suggests, an aquamanile—from the Latin for water (aqua) and hand (manus)—is a ewer intended for hand washing. While such vessels were used in both sacred and secular rituals during the Middle Ages, they were also inventive sculptural objects. They usually featured animal forms that could be either whimsical or imposing. This aquamanile, produced by a northern German artist around 1350, takes the shape of a lion, but incorporates three other creatures: a dog that is locked in the lion’s fierce jaws, a basilisk or winged dragon on the lion’s back forming the pitcher’s handle, and a serpentine creature at the end of the lion’s tail.


On View, Gallery 236


Applied Arts of Europe


Foundry of Johannes Apengeter


Aquamanile in the Form of a Lion


Germany (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Copper alloy


25.5 × 28.8 × 11.8 cm (10 1/16 × 11 1/4 × 4 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior bequest of the George F. Harding Collection; Chester D. Tripp, Jane Gidwitz Memorial; and European Painting and Sculpture Purchase funds

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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