Collection: Relics and reliquaries

The term"relics", from the Latin reliquiae (literally"remains"), refers to the human remains of holy figures (often bone fragments) or objects that belonged to them or that were in contact with their bodies. In the Christian religion, if the relics were first placed in the altar of the churches, the development of their worship is accompanied by the production of a wide variety of containers used to preserve and magnify them:shrines, monstrances, paintings, chests, statues, quarter panels, rosaries, medallions… In the 17th century, reliquaries also entered domestic spaces to protect the hearth. They are then found on the thresholds of houses, on fireplaces or even suspended above beds. Their trade intensified, and with it, the desire of the Church to regulate the practice and guarantee the origin of the relics.