Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Relief of the Holy Family

Date:
ca. 1160–80
Culture:
British or North French
Medium:
Ivory
Dimensions:
Overall: 3 3/16 x 1 1/2 x 1/2 in. (8.1 x 3.8 x 1.3 cm)
Classification:
Ivories
Credit Line:
Dodge Fund, 1940
Accession Number:
40.62
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304
This exquisite carving, probably originally from a portable altar, is one of the most intimate and sensitive carvings of the Romanesque style in Europe. Here Joseph tenderly embraces Mary and the infant Jesus who are enthroned upon an ass. Rich in symbolism, this ivory has been linked artistically to both England and northern France.
Emile Théodore, Lille (by 1911); Louis Carré ((1897–1977), Paris)(until 1940)
Soil de Moriamé, Eugène. Exposition des anciennes industries d'art tournaisiennes. Tournai: Casterman, 1911. no. 1, p. 29.

Goldschmidt, Adolph. Die Elfenbeinskulpturen aus der romanischen Zeit, XI.-XIII. Jahrhundert. Vol. 4. Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1926. no. 19, p. 17, pl. VI.

Swarzenski, Hanns. "Two Unknown French Romanesque Frescoes." Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts 48, no. 272 (June 1950). pp. 25–26.

Swarzenski, Hanns. Monuments of Romanesque Art: the Art of Church Treasures in North-Western Europe. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1954. p. 63, fig. 314, pl. 139.

Beckwith, John. "An Ivory Relief of the Ascension." Burlington Magazine 98, no. 637 (April 1956). pp. 119, 120, fig. 21.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Guide to the Collections: Medieval Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1962. fig. 31.

Griffith, Beatrice Fox. Treasure Under Glass. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1963. p. 38, pl. XXXIII, accession number incorrectly identified in caption as 40.62.

Kryzhanovskaya, Marta. "Angliyskaya Reznaya Kost' Romanskogo Perioda (X–XII vv.)." Trudy Gosudarstvennogo Ėrmitazha 8 (1964). p. 23.

Swarzenski, Hanns. Monuments of Romanesque Art: the Art of Church Treasures in North-Western Europe. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1967. p. 63, fig. 314, pl. 139.

Hoffmann, Konrad, ed. The Year 1200: A Centennial Exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 1. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1970. no. 62, p. 57.

Sauerländer, Willibald. "Review of 'The Year 1200,' a Centennial exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. February 12-May 10, 1970." The Art Bulletin 53, no. 4 (December 1971). p. 512.

Beckwith, John. Ivory Carvings in Early Medieval England. London: Harvey Miller Publishers, 1972. no. 100, p. 140, fig. 184.

Schwartz, Sheila. "Symbolic allusions in a twelth-century ivory." Marsyas 16 (1972/73). pp. 25–26, fig. 1.

Beckwith, John, ed. Ivory Carvings in Early Medieval England, 700-1200. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1974. no. 57, p. 89.

Gaborit-Chopin, Danielle. Ivoires du Moyen Age. Fribourg: Office du Livre, 1978. no. 191, pp. 132, 203-204.

Little, Charles T. "Ivoires et art gothique." Revue de l'art 46 (1979). pp. 58–59, fig. 1.

Verdier, Philippe. Le Couronnement de la Vierge: Les Origines et les Premiers Développements d'un Thème Iconographique. Paris: Librairie philosophique J. Vrin, 1980. p. 43, pl. 86.

Zarnecki, George, Janet Holt, and Tristram Holland, ed. English Romanesque Art, 1066-1200. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1984. no. 214, p. 228.

McLachlan Elizabeth Parker, Malcolm Thurlby, and Charles T. Little. "Romanesque Reassembled in England: A Review." Gesta 24, no. 1 (1985). p. 85, fig. 6.

Erlande-Brandenburg, Alain. Gothic Art. New York: H. N. Abrams, 1989. pp. 485, 501, fig. 630.

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. 14, p. 10.

State Hermitage Museum. Dekorativno-prikladnoe iskusstvo ot pozdneĭ antichnosti do pozdneĭ gotiki. St. Petersburg: State Hermitage Museum, 1990. no. 14, pp. 8, 36-37.

Mellinkoff, Ruth. Outcasts: Signs of Otherness in Northern European Art of the Late Middle Ages. Vol. 1. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. p. 80.

Mellinkoff, Ruth. Outcasts: Signs of Otherness in Northern European Art of the Late Middle Ages. Vol. 2. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993. fig. III.85.

Luckhardt, Jochen, and Franz Niehoff, ed. Heinrich der Löwe und seine Zeit: Herrschaft und Repräsentation der Welfen 1125-1235; Katalog der Ausstellung Braunschweig. Vol. 1. Munich: Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, 1995. no. D107, pp. 310–11, 325–26.

Williamson, Paul. Medieval Ivory Carvings: Early Christian to Romanesque. London: V & A Publications, 2010. pp. 327, 331.

Little, Charles T. "Joseph at Chartres: Sculpture Lost and Found." In Arts of the Medieval Cathedrals: Studies on Architecture, Stained Glass and Sculpture in Honor of Anne Prache, edited by Kathleen Nolan, and Dany Sandron. AVISTA Studies in the History of Medieval Technology, Science and Art, Vol. 9. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2015. p. 193, fig. 11.9.



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