Large Dish Depicting Fish
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
The dish displayed here was used to serve fish. Fish were important symbols to Romans, Christians, and Jews in the ancient world, and the act of eating fish could therefore take on a degree of symbolic significance. Jews ate fish at the beginning of the Sabbath in this period in anticipation of the meal to be served at the start of the Messianic Age, when the faithful would dine on the flesh of the sea monster Leviathan. And within the Christian tradition, in the earliest depictions of the Last Supper the main course was fish.
6th century C.E.
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Coptic. Large Dish Depicting Fish, 6th century C.E. Clay, painted, 4 3/4 x 18 11/16 in. (12 x 47.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, By exchange, 42.408. Creative Commons-BY
. Brooklyn Museum photograph (in collaboration with Index of Christian Art, Princeton University), 2007
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