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Pyx with the Women at Christ's Tomb

Date:
500s
Geography:
Made in Eastern Mediterranean
Culture:
Byzantine
Medium:
Ivory
Dimensions:
Overall (with lid): 4 1/4 x 5 x 4 3/4 in. (10.8 x 12.7 x 12.1 cm) Overall (Without lid): 4 1/4 x 5 x 4 3/8 in. (10.8 x 12.7 x 11.1 cm) Top ((Lid)): 1 x 5 x 4 3/4 in. (2.5 x 12.7 x 12.1 cm)
Classification:
Ivories
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.57a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 300
The Gospel of Luke (24:1-10) describes a group of women, among them Mary Magdalene, coming to the empty tomb of the risen Christ. Here three women stand in the orant, or prayer, pose. Two others, swinging censers, approach from either side of a domed building in which tied-back curtains reveal an altar, which may refer to Christ's tomb. Similar curtains separated the altar from the nave, or public area, in early churches in the eastern Mediterranean.
Dmitri Schevitch, Paris (sold 1906); his sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris (April 4–7, 1906, no. 136); J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (until 1917)
Molinier, Émile, ed. Catalogue des Objets d'Art et de Haute Curiosité de l'Antiquité du Moyen-Age et de la Renaissance: Collection de M. D. Schevitch. Paris: Galerie Georges Petit, April 4–6, 1906. no. 136.

Goldschmidt, Adolph. "Mittelstücke fünfteiliger Elfenbeintafeln des VI.—VII. Jahrhunderts." Jahrbuch für Kunstwissenschaft 1 (1923). p. 33, fig. 5.

Capps, Edward, Jr. "An Ivory Pyxis in the Museo Cristiano and a Plaque from the Sancta Sanctorum." The Art Bulletin 9, no. 4 (June 1927). p. 340.

St. Clair, Archer. "The Visit to the Tomb: Narrative and Liturgy on Three Early Christian Pyxides." Gesta 18, no. 1 (1979). pp. 129-130, fig. 7 and 8, ill. p. 130, figs. 7-8.

Weitzmann, Kurt, ed. Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1979. no. 520, pp. 581-582.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, edited by Kathleen Howard. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1983. no. 9, p. 341.

Husband, Timothy B., and Charles T. Little. Europe in the Middle Ages. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. 32, p. 41.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, edited by Kathleen Howard. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994. no. 9, p. 375.

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

Evans, Helen C., Melanie Holcomb, and Robert Hallman. "The Arts of Byzantium." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 58, no. 4 (Spring 2001). pp. 22-23.

Frings, Jutta, ed. Byzanz: Pracht und Alltag. Bonn: Kunst-und Austellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 2010. no. 110, p. 195.



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