Plaque with Moses, Aaron, and the Brazen Serpent

Cologne, circa 1200
Champlevé enamel on gilded copper
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 17.190.439

Moses is identified by both the tablets in his left hand and the horns. Aaron, identified by the museum lable, wears the conical hat used by Jews in the Middle Ages. The story is told in Numbers 21 and recalled in John 3.

It is unusual for the serpent to be pictured as a sort of mini-dragon with horns perched on a column; in other images, more faithful to Numbers 21, it coils itself around a pole.

More of The Bronze Serpent

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