This catalogue highlights the fifty-two sculptures in the Byzantine Collection at Dumbarton Oaks. The objects range from the third-century BC miniature portrait head of a Ptolemaic emperor to the sixteenth-century lindenwood “Queen of Heaven” by Tilmann Riemenschneider.
These sculptures are not representative of any one culture or period, but rather are characteristic of the Blisses’ wide-ranging tastes and extraordinary connoisseurship. About a quarter of the objects are Greco-Roman in date, and nearly two-thirds of the remainder are Late Antique, predominantly limestone carvings from Early Byzantine Egypt. Sculpture from the Middle Byzantine period is very rare, making the four pieces in this collection especially significant.