The Good Shepherd

Byzantine, circa 400-700 A.D.
Polychrome wool and undyed linen
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 90.5.663

The shepherd wears a mantle and a short tunic typical for actual shepherds. As traditional, he is in a sylvan setting framed by birds, beasts and the two sheep at his feet. The image differs from many early Good Shepherd images in that the lamb is in the shepherd's right arm, not on his shoulders.

Although the museum classifies this work as "Byzantine," implying origin in a Christian milieu, it is conceivable that it could have been made for a pagan owner. Shepherds were a common motif in classical iconography.

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Photographed at the museum by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.