Ivories of the So-Called Grado Chair: Saint in Orant Pose
Made in Eastern Mediterranean or Egypt
4 1/16 x 3 1/4 x 5/16 in. (10.3 x 8.3 x 0.8 cm)
Musée National du Moyen Âge, Thermes et Hôtel de Cluny, Paris (Cl. 1932)
Not on view
The original use and arrangement of these fourteen ivories of the So-called Grado Chair with scenes from the life of Christ, depictions of saints, and of Saint Mark as first bishop of Alexandria remain uncertain. They may have been part of a liturgical throne given by Emperor Heraclius (r. 610–41) to Grado, Italy, after his successful re-conquest of Egypt. On this plaque, the unidentified saint stands in an orant, or prayer, pose. Knotted curtains in the background are hung as they often were in the Byzantine and early Islamic periods.