Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Plaque with Christ Receiving Magdeburg Cathedral from Emperor Otto I

Date:
ca. 962–968
Geography:
Made in Milan (?)
Culture:
Ottonian
Medium:
Ivory
Dimensions:
Overall: 5 1/8 x 4 7/16 x 5/16in. (13 x 11.3 x 0.8cm)
Classification:
Ivories
Credit Line:
Gift of George Blumenthal, 1941
Accession Number:
41.100.157
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304
One of the most famous ivory carvings to survive from the tenth century, this plaque depicts Christ enthroned against an open worked checkerboard background. He is blessing a model of a church presented to him by Emperor Otto the Great (r. 962–973) and a host of saints including Peter, who holds his attribute, the keys. The ivory was destined for Otto's imperial church dedicated to Saint Mauritius in Magdeburg (Saxony) which was raised to the seat of an archbishopric in 968. This plaque, and an accompanying series of New Testament and symbolic scenes, must have been made for the dedication of the church in that year. This ensemble may have been part of some liturgical furnishing such as a chancel door, a pulpit, or an altar frontal. Probably carved in Milan, an important imperial and artistic center, the engaging style of the ivories with their uncomplicated figures, geometric setting, and emphatic gestures seem to assimilate features of both the Carolingian artistic tradition and that of Byzantium.
Stifts Seitenstetten, Austria ; Joseph Satinover(in 1926); George and Florence Blumenthal, Paris and New York (from 1927-1941)
Sacken, Eduard von. "Kunstdenkmale des Mittelalters im Kreise ob dem Wiener Walde des Erzherzogthums Nieder-Österreich." Jahrbuch der Kaiserl. Königl. Central-Commission zur Erforschung und Erhaltung der Baudenkmale 2 (1857). p. 126, fig. 34.

Katalog der von dem Wiener Alterthums-Vereine veranstalteten Ausstellung von Kunstgegenständen aus dem Mittelalter und der Renaissance. 2nd ed. Vienna: K. K. Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, 1860. no. 114, p. 29.

Essenwein, August Ottmar. "Die archäologische Ausstellung des wiener Alterthums-Vereins (II. – Fortsetzung)." Organ für christliche Kunst 11, no. 4 (February 15, 1861). p. 42, pl. IV, fig. 4.

Essenwein, August Ottmar. "Die archäologische Ausstellung des wiener Alterthums-Vereins (II. – Schluss)." Organ für christliche Kunst 11, no. 8 (April 15, 1861). p. 87.

Weiss, Karl. "Die kunstarchäologische Ausstellung des Wiener Alterthumsvereines." Mittheilungen der Kaiserl. Königl. Central-Commission zur Erforschung und Erhaltung der Baudenkmale 6, no. 4 (April 1861). p. 104.

Darcel, Alfred. "Mémoire sur l'exposition d'archéologie de Vienne en 1860." In Mémoires lus à la Sorbonne dans les séances extraordinaires du Comité impérial des Travaux historiques et des Sociétés savantes tenues les 21, 22 et 23 novembre 1861. Paris: Imprimerie Impériale, 1863. pp. 265–66.

Lind, Karl. "Die österreichische kunsthistorische Abteilung der Wiener-Weltausstellung." Mittheilungen der K. K. Central-Commission zur Erforschung und Erhaltung der Baudenkmale 18 (1873). pp. 167–68, fig. 29.

Officieller Kunst-Catalog. Welt-Ausstellung 1873 in Wien. Vienna: s.n., 1873. no. 119, p. 26.

Westwood, J. O., ed. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Fictile Ivories in the South Kensington Museum, with an Account of the Continental Collection of Classical and Medieval Ivories. London: South Kensington Museum, 1876. p. 469.

Lind, Karl. "Studien über ältere Elfenbein-Arbeiten." Blätter für Kunstgewerbe 7 (1878). p. 38, fig. 6.

Swarzenski, Georg. Die Regensburger Buchmalerei des X. und XI. Jahrhunderts: Studien zur Geschichte der deutschen Malerei des frühen Mittelalters. Denkmäler der süddeutschen Malerei des frühen Mittelalters, Vol. 1. Leipzig: Karl W. Hiersemann, 1901. p. 51.

Goldschmidt, Adolph. Die Elfenbeinskulpturen aus der Zeit der karolingischen und sächisischen Kaiser, VIII.-XI. Jahrhundert. Vol. 2. Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1918. no. 16, pp. 3, 4, 19–20, pl. VI.

Salvatorelli, Luigi. L'Italia medioevale: dalle invasioni barbariche agli inizi del secolo XI. Storia d'Italia, Vol. 3. Milan: Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, 1938. p. 553, fig. 361.

Frankfurter, Alfred M. "End of an Era: The Blumenthal Collection at The Metropolitan." Art News 42, no. 15 (December 15-31, 1943). pp. 27–28, ill. p. 24.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Masterpieces in the Collection of George Blumenthal: A Special Exhibition. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1943. no. 1.

Jantzen, Hans. Ottonische Kunst. Munich: Münchner Verlag, 1947. no. 135, pp. 137, 174, fig. 135, pl. 125.

Kurz, Otto. Fakes: A Handbook for Collectors and Students. London: Faber and Faber, 1948. p. 162 n. 2.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Art Treasures of the Metropolitan: A Selection from the European and Asiatic Collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: H.N. Abrams, 1952. no. 36, pp. 47, 220.

Kreusch, Felix. "Die Darstellung der Reichskrone auf einer der Süsterner Platten." In Karolingische und ottonische Kunst: Werden, Wesen, Wirkung. Forschungen zur Kunstgeschichte und christlichen Archäologie, Vol. 3. Wiesbaden: F. Steiner, 1957. p. 370, fig. 150.

Fillitz, Hermann. "Die Spätphase des 'langobardischen' Stiles." Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien, n.s., 18 (1958). pp. 67–69.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Guide to the Collections: Medieval Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1962. p. 14, fig. 22.

Beckwith, John. Early Medieval Art. Praeger world of art series. New York: Praeger, 1964. pp. 127–30, fig. 107.

Hoving, Thomas. "The Thread of Patronage: The Medieval Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cloisters." Apollo 82, no. 43 (September 1965). pp. 178–79, fig. 4.

Wixom, William D. "An Ottonian Ivory Book Cover." The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 55, no. 9 (November 1968). pp. 275–76, 279–81, 285–88, fig. 2, 13.

Fillitz, Hermann. Das Mittelalter I. Propyläen Kunstgeschichte, Vol. 5. Berlin: Propylaën Verlag, 1969. no. 104a, p. 164, fig. 104a.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries. New York: Dutton Publishing, 1970. no. 119, p. 153.

Beeson, Nora B., ed. Guide to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1972. no. 24, pp. 215–16, fig. 24.

Lasko, Peter. Ars Sacra, 800-1200. 1st ed. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1972. pp. 79, 87–92, 108, fig. 79.

Little, Charles T. "The Magdeburg Ivory Group: a Tenth Century New Testament Narrative Cycle." PhD diss., New York University, 1977. no. 2, pp. 104–26, fig. 66.

Gaborit-Chopin, Danielle. Ivoires du Moyen Age. Fribourg: Office du Livre, 1978. no. 101, pp. 81–82, 192.

Hibbard, Howard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Harper & Row, 1980. p. 145, fig. 267.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, edited by Kathleen Howard. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1983. no. 15, p. 343.

Schramm, Percy Ernst. Die deutschen Kaiser und Könige in Bildern ihrer Zeit, 751-1190, edited by Florentine Mütherich. Revised ed. Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1983. pp. 16, 73–75, 96, 188–90, 211, fig. 85.

Durliat, Marcel. Des Barbares à l'An Mil. Paris: Éditions Mazenod, 1985. p. 477, fig. 582.

Little, Charles T. "From Milan to Magdeburg: The Place of the Magdeburg Ivories in Ottonian Art." Milano e i Milanesi prima del Mille: Atti del 10º Congresso internazionale di studi sull'alto Medioevo, Milano, 26-30 settembre 1983 (1986). pp. 441–51, fig. 1, pl. 1.

Fillitz, Hermann, and Martina Pippal. Schatzkunst: die Goldschmiede- und Elfenbeinarbeiten aus österreichischen Schatzkammern des Hochmittelalters. Salzburg: Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, 1987. no. 5, pp. 75–77, fig. 5.1.

Husband, Timothy B., and Charles T. Little. Europe in the Middle Ages. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. no. 37, p. 45.

Little, Charles T. "Avori milanesi del X secolo." In La città del vescovo dai Carolingi al Barbarossa, edited by Carlo Bertelli. Il Milllennio ambrosiano. Milan: Electa, 1988. pp. 92–93, fig. 117.

Elbern, Victor H. "Mailand – spätantike Kaiserstadt: Nachwirkungen in der Kunst des frühen Mittelalters." Aachener Kunstblätter 58 (1989/90). pp. 24–26, 28, fig. 23.

Steigerwald, Frank Neidhart. "Das Dedikationsrelief der Magdeburger Kathedrale Ottos des Großen und die Gründung des Erzbistums Magdeburg im Jahre 967: Otto Imperator, 'vicus in ebore'." In Der Magdeburger Dom: Ottonische Gründung und staufischer Neubau, edited by Ernst Ullmann. Schriftenreihe der Kommission für Niedersächsische Bau- und Kunstgeschichte bei der Braunschweigischen Wissenschaftlichen Gesellschaft, Vol. 5. Leipzig: E. A. Seemann, 1989. pp. 74–81, fig. 4.

Thurre, David. L'Atelier roman d'orfèvrerie de l'Abbaye de Saint-Maurice. Sierre: Editions Monographic, 1992. p. 142, fig. 119.

Gaborit-Chopin, Danielle. "Un extraordinaire ivoire ottonien entre au Louvre." Revue du Louvre et des Musées de France 3 (1993). pp. 6–8, fig. 4.

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. 16, p. 377.

Lasko, Peter. Ars Sacra, 800-1200. 2nd ed. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1994. pp. 77, 89–90, fig. 124.

Fisher, Sally. The Square Halo and Other Mysteries of Western Art: Images and the Stories that Inspire Them. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1995. p. 62.

Crivello, Fabrizio, and Stefano Grazzini. "'Aliptes est, ut quidam dicunt, sculptor'. Osservazioni sulla situla Basilewsky." Annali della Scuola normale superiore di Pisa: Classe di lettere e filosofia, 4th ser., 4, no. 1 (1999). p. 219, fig. 246.

Fillitz, Hermann. Die Gruppe der Magdeburger Elfenbeintafeln: Eine Stiftung Kaiser Ottos des Großsen für den Magdeburger Dom. Mainz: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 2001. no. 1, pp. 3, 8, 24, 29–31, fig. 6, 7.

Mayr-Harting, Henry. "Herrschaftsrepräsentation der ottonishcen Familie." In Otto der Grosse: Magdeburg und Europa; Volume 1, Essays, edited by Matthias Puhle. Magdeburg: Kulturhistorisches Museum Magdeburg, 2001. pp. 134–35, fig. 1.

Puhle, Matthias, ed. Otto der Grosse: Magdeburg und Europa; Volume 2, Catalogue. Magdeburg: Kulturhistorisches Museum Magdeburg, 2001. no. V.35a, pp. 363–73.

Gaborit-Chopin, Danielle. Ivoires Médiévaux, Ve-XVe siècle. Paris: Musée du Louvre, 2003. p. 182.

Norris, Michael. Medieval Art: A Resource for Educators. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. no. 8, pp. 48–51.

Wixom, William D. "Medieval Sculpture at the Metropolitan: 800 to 1400." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 62, no. 4 (2005). p. 7.

Mayr-Harting, Henry. "Die Ottonen: Herrscherrepräsentation in der Kunst, 919–1024." In Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation, 962-1806: Von Otto dem Grossen bis zum Ausgang des Mittelalters. Volume 2, Essays, edited by Matthias Puhle, and Claus-Peter Haase. Magdeburg: Kulturhistorisches Museum Magdeburg, 2006. no. II.8, pp. 112–14, fig. 4.

Puhle, Matthias, and Claus-Peter Haase, ed. The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation 962 to 1806: From Otto the Great to the Close of the Middle Ages, Short Guide. Dresden: Michel Sandstein Verlag, 2006. no. II.8, pp. 24–25, fig. 7.

Puhle, Matthias, and Claus-Peter Haase, ed. Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation, 962-1806: Von Otto dem Grossen bis zum Ausgang des Mittelalters. Volume 1, Catalogue. Dresden: Kulturhistorisches Museum Magdeburg, 2006. no. II.8, pp. 53–54.

Schulz-Rehberg, Rose-Marie. Die Aachener Elfenbeinsitula : Ein liturgisches Gefäss im Spannungsfeld von Imperium und Sacerdotium eine Kunst-Kistorische Analyse. Münster: Monsenstein und Vannerdat, 2006. pp. 71–72, 181, fig. 50, (misidentified as belonging to the Louvre).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012. p. 184.

Kamp, Hermann. "Gewalt und Mission: Die Elb- und Ostseeslawen im Fadenkreuz des Reiches und der Sachen vom 10. bis zum 12. Jahrundert." In CREDO: Christianisierung Europas im Mittelalter: Volume 1, Essays, edited by Christoph Stiegemann, Martin Kroker, and Wolfgang Walter. Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag, 2013. pp. 397–99, fig. 225.



Related Objects

Plaque with Jesus’ Entry into Jerusalem

Date: 900–925 Medium: Ivory Accession: 17.190.50 On view in:Gallery 304

Plaque with the Virgin Mary as a Personification of the Church

Date: ca. 800–825 Medium: Ivory Accession: 17.190.49 On view in:Gallery 304

Icon with the Crucifixion

Date: mid-10th century Medium: Ivory Accession: 17.190.44 On view in:Gallery 303

Icon with the Koimesis

Date: late 900s Medium: Ivory Accession: 17.190.132 On view in:Gallery 303

Plaque with Agnus Dei on a Cross between Emblems of the Four Evangelists

Date: 1000–1050 Medium: Ivory Accession: 17.190.38 On view in:Gallery 304