Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Polyptych with Scenes from Christ's Passion

ca. 1350
Made in Rhineland, France or Germany
French or German
Ivory, paint, and gilding with metal mounts
Overall (open): 9 7/16 x 12 11/16 x 3/8 in. (23.9 x 32.2 x 1 cm) Overall (closed): 9 7/16 x 3 1/8 x 1 5/8 in. (23.9 x 8 x 4.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 306
Some private devotional objects were intended to encourage meditation on the events of the Passion in great detail, cultivating a feeling of personal presence. Narrative carvings may have aided in such intense visualization. This particular choice of scenes is striking in its attention to Pontius Pilate, its depiction of both the raising of the cross and Jesus nailed to the cross, and its inclusion of the rare episode of the stripping and buffeting of Christ.
Baron Albert Oppenheim, Cologne(sold 1906); J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (1906–1917)
Catalogue officiel illustré de l'exposition retrospective de l'art français des origines à 1800. Exposition universelle de 1900. Paris: Lemercier & Cie., 1900. no. 112, p. 264.

Molinier, Émile. Collection du Baron Albert Oppenheim: Tableaux et objets d'art, catalogue précédé d'une introduction. Paris: Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts, 1904. no. 68, p. 30, pl. LI.

Kunz, George F. Ivory and the Elephant in Art, in Archaeology, and in Science. New York: Doubleday & Company, 1916. p. 50.

Koechlin, Raymond. Les Ivoires Gothiques Français: Volume I, Text. Paris: Editions Auguste Picard, 1924. no. 282, pp. 155,167,186,292.

Koechlin, Raymond. Les Ivoires Gothiques Français: Volume II, Catalogue. Paris: Editions Auguste Picard, 1924. no. 282, p. 125.

Koechlin, Raymond. Les Ivoires Gothiques Français: Volume III, Plates. Paris: Editions Auguste Picard, 1924. no. 282, pl. LXXIII.

The Life of Christ: A Loan Exhibition of Works of Art Illustrating Episodes in the Life of Christ. Hartford, CT: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 1948. no. 202, p. 34.

Randall Jr., Richard H. Masterpieces of Ivory from the Walters Art Gallery. Walters Art Gallery, 1985. p. 216.

Smith, Susan L. "The Bride Stripped Bare: A Rare Type of the Disrobing of Christ." Gesta 34, no. 2 (1995). pp. 131–32, fig. 7.

Barnet, Peter, ed. Images In Ivory: Precious Objects of the Gothic Age. Detroit: Detroit Institute of Arts, 1997. p. 208.

Little, Charles T. "Gothic Ivory Carving in Germany." In Images In Ivory: Precious Objects of the Gothic Age, edited by Peter Barnet. Detroit: Detroit Institute of Arts, 1997. pp. 88–89, fig. VI-13.

Petzel, Klara Katharina. Elfenbein-Diptychon mit Passions- und Erscheinungsszenen. Kolumba, Vol. 27. Cologne: Kolumba, 2007. p. 10, fig. 3.

Guerin, Sarah Margaret. "'Tears of Compunction': French Gothic Ivories in Devotional Practice." PhD diss., University of Toronto, 2009. p. 291 n. 30, fig. 6–4.

Williamson, Paul, and Glyn Davies. Medieval Ivory Carvings, 1200–1550. Vol. 1. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2014. p. 261.

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