Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Plaque with the Journey to Emmaus and Noli Me Tangere

Date:
ca. 1115–20
Geography:
Made in León, Spain
Culture:
Spanish
Medium:
Ivory, traces of gilding
Dimensions:
Overall: 10 5/8 x 5 1/4 x 3/4 in. (27 x 13.4 x 1.9 cm) Weight: 30.5oz. (866g)
Classification:
Ivories
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.47
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304
According to the Gospels, Jesus appeared to his disciples several times after the Resurrection, including on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. In the encounter, represented at the top of this plaque, the disciples lament the Crucifixion, while Jesus explains the redemptive nature of his sacrifice. Below, Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene, who at first thinks he is a gardener. When she recognizes him, he tells her not to touch him (noli me tangere) since the Ascension has not yet occurred.

The swirling drapery, elongated bodies, and emphatic gestures convey the drama of these miraculous events and relate the plaque to works produced in León, an important royal city on the pilgrimage road. This precious ivory carving was part of a larger ensemble, perhaps a reliquary shrine decorated with other scenes from the life of Jesus.
Inscription: Inscribed: legend above figures: D(omi)N(u)S LOQVITVR MARIE (The Lord talks to Mary.)
Traumann ; E. Guilhou, Paris; Georges Hoentschel (French, Paris 1855–1915 Paris); J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (until 1917)
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