Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Icon with Saint Demetrios

Date:
950–1000
Culture:
Byzantine
Medium:
Ivory
Dimensions:
Overall: 7 3/4 x 4 3/4 x 3/8in. (19.7 x 12.1 x 1cm)
Classification:
Ivories
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1970
Accession Number:
1970.324.3
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 303
Standing erect, a spear in his hand and a shield at his side, Saint Demetrios is shown ready to protect the Christian faithful. The name of the popular Byzantine military saint is inscribed in two parts in Greek. Martyred in Thessalonike, the second most important city of the empire in the early centuries of the church, he has long been the patron saint of that metropolis. Images of saints in military dress are rare in Early Byzantine art (they appear on the chalices of the Attarouthi Treasure) but typical of the Middle Byzantine period.

The cleft in the base of the frame may have supported a standard for carrying the image in processions or into battle. The holes drilled through the back indicate that it may have been used in the Latin West as a cover for a book.
Inscription: Inscribed in Greek: Saint Demetrios (on either side of saint's head)
comte Jean-François-Auguste de Bastard d'Estang ; Ernst and Marthe Kofler-Truniger, Lucerne (sold 1970)
Schnitzler, Hermann, ed. Grosse Kunst des Mittelalters aus Privatbesitz. Cologne: Museum Schnütgen, 1960. no. 7, p. 12, pl. 8.

Philippowich, Eugen von. Elfenbein: ein Handbuch für Sammler und Liebhaber. Braunschweig: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1961. pp. 50, 52, fig. 38.

Bloch, Peter. "Sammlung E. und M. Kofler-Truniger, Luzern: Ausstellung im Kunsthaus Zürich vom 7. Juni bis 1. September." Kunstchronik 17 (October 1964). p. 264.

Sammlung E. und M. Kofler-Truniger, Luzern: Ausstellung. Zurich: Kunsthaus Zürich, 1964. no. 670, p. 70, pl. 61.

Schnitzler, Hermann, Peter Bloch, and W. F. Volbach. Sammlung E. und M. Kofler-Truniger, Luzern: Skulpturen – Elfenbein, Perlmutter, Stein, Holz; europäisches Mittelalter. Vol. 1. Lucerne: Verlag Räber & Cie, 1964. no. 7, p. 12.

Kunsthalle Köln. Weltkunst aus Privatbesitz. Cologne: Museen der Stadt Köln, 1968. no. D 5, fig. 3, (unpaginated).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "One Hundred First Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1970 through June 30, 1971." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 101 (1971). p. 21.

The New York Times. "Metropolitan Museum Acquires 13 Outstanding Medieval Ivories." The New York Times (December 1, 1972). p. 41.

Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 32, no. 4 (1973-1974). p. 58.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Notable Acquisitions (Metropolitan Museum of Art) no. 1965/1975 (1975). p. 154.

Pushkin Museum and State Hermitage Museum. Dekorativno-prikladnoe iskusstvo ot pozdneĭ antichnosti do pozdneĭ gotiki: Iz sobraniĭ muze︠i︡a Metropoliten, Nʹ︠i︡u Ĭork i Khudozhestvennogo Instituta, Chikago. Moscow: Pushkin Museum, 1990. no. 12, p. 10.

State Hermitage Museum. Dekorativno-prikladnoe iskusstvo ot pozdneĭ antichnosti do pozdneĭ gotiki. St. Petersburg: State Hermitage Museum, 1990. no. 12, pp. 32-33.

Cutler, Anthony. The Hand of the Master: Craftsmanship, Ivory, and Society in Byzantium (9th–11th centuries). Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994. pp. 117, 119, 122; p. 268 n. 23, fig. 126, 130.

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. 81, pp. 134-5.

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

Cutler, Anthony. "Of First Principles and Second Thoughts." In Late Antique and Byzantine Ivory Carving. Variorum Collected Studies Series. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1998. p. 7.

Cutler, Anthony. "Inscriptions and Iconography on Some Middle Byzantine Ivories, I. The Monuments and their Dating." In Late Antique and Byzantine Ivory Carving. Variorum Collected Studies Series. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1998. p. 654, pl. VIIIb.

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). p. 50.

Frings, Jutta, ed. Byzanz: Pracht und Alltag. Bonn: Kunst-und Austellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 2010. no. 449, p. 337.



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