Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Icon with the Deesis

Made in probably Constantinople
Overall: 6 5/16 x 5 1/8 x 1/4 in. (16 x 13 x 0.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 303
This representation of Christ joined with the Virgin and John the Forerunner (the Baptist), one of the most widespread middle Byzantine icon types, is known as the Deesis. By tradition the first witnesses to Christ's divinity, the Virgin and Saint John came to be seen as holy figures who would act as intercessors with him on behalf of humanity.
Durillon, Lyons; Georges Chalandon, Paris (1913); J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (1913); Estate of J. Pierpont Morgan(1913–1917)
Goldschmidt, Adolph, and Kurt Weitzmann. Die Byzantinischen Elfenbeinskulpturen des X.-XIII. Jahrhunderts. Vol. 2. Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1934. no. 154, pp. 66, pl. LIII, fig. 154.

Weitzmann, Kurt. "Byzantine Art and Scholarship in America." American Journal of Archaeology, 2nd series, 51, no. 4 (1947). p. 410.

Ostoia, Vera K. The Middle Ages: Treasures from the Cloisters and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1969. no. 26, pp. 62-3, 254.

Evans, Helen C., and William D. Wixom, ed. The Glory of Byzantium: Art and Culture of the Middle Byzantine Era, A.D. 843–1261. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997. no. 82, pp. 135-6.

Connor, Carolyn L. The Color of Ivory: Polychromy on Byzantine Ivories. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1998. p. 84.

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