Quantcast

Plaque with Enthroned Virgin and Child

Date:
850–875
Geography:
Made in northern France
Culture:
Carolingian
Medium:
Ivory
Dimensions:
Overall: 5 11/16 x 3 7/16 x 1/4 in. (14.5 x 8.8 x 0.6 cm)
Classification:
Ivories
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.39
  • Description

    These carvings—one showing the Virgin and the Infant Jesus, the other showing Christ flanked by Saints Peter and Paul—reuse ivory plaques that might have once served as furniture mounts. The plaques, originally carved in Egypt one hundred years earlier, depict on their backs a tree flanked by birds and Hercules capturing the Golden Stag of Artemis. The recarving of pagan ivories with Christian subjects, probably to adorn a Gospel book, occurred in a workshop associated with the emperor Charles the Bald (r. 840–77), the grandson of Charlemagne. The reuse of ancient ivory plaques, not unusual in the 800s, was due to the rarity of African elephant ivory in Europe.

  • Provenance

    J. Pierpont Morgan, London and New York (until 1917)

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
464370

Close