100 AD-1400 AD

AD 467

Kujaku Myoo , one of the several “Radiant Wisdom Kings” worshipped in Japan, is depicted holding a pomegranate to repel evil spirits. 

Image: Kujaku Myoo (Mahamayuri), ca. 12th Century AD. Credit: Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo, Japan, Image: TNM Image Archives, Source: http://Tnmarchives.jp/

AD 609

Pomegranates were abundant in Islamic art and architecture. Legend has it that each one contains an aril descended directly from paradise.

Image: Banquet with musicians, folio 33V of Poetry of Hafez, 1325/6-89/90 Persian poet, 1554 Persian manuscript on subject of love: Real biblioteca de lo Escorial. Gianni Dagli Orti / The Art Archive at Art Resource, NY

AD 1238

A painting by Domenico Ghirlandaio, depicting St. Gregory's appearance to an ill young girl, features a pomegranate. It represents the promise of life after death.

Image: Saint Fina. Detail from Pope Gregory announcing to Saint Fina her death. 1475 Fresco: Collegiata, San Gimignano, Italy. Mauro Magliani. Credit: Alinari / Art Resource, NY

AD 1400

Pomegranates are a powerful symbol in Christian art. In works by Sandro Botticelli, Raphael and Filippino Lippi they represent plenitude, hope, spiritual fruitfulness and chastity. 

Image: Coronation of the Madonna and Child, with Five Angels (Madonna of the Magnificat). Tondo, tempera on wood. Diameter 118 cm. Ca. 1483: Uffizi, Florence, Italy. Credit: Erich Lessing / Art Resource, NY