Exhibitions/ Art Object

Ivories of the So-Called Grado Chair: Saint Mark Preaching

7th–8th century
Made in Eastern Mediterranean or Egypt
7 7/16 x 4 1/8 x 3/8 in. (18.9 x 10.5 x 1 cm)
Credit Line:
Civiche Raccolte d’Arte Applicata—Castello Sforzesco, Milan (avori n. 2)
Not on view
The ivories from the So-called Grado Chair depict Saint Mark as founder and first bishop of the church of Alexandria. The mixture of Byzantine and Islamic elements in the decoration, especially in details of the cities, demonstrates the sophistication of ivory carvers in the eastern Mediterranean immediately before the body of the saint was transported to Venice.
On this panel, Saint Mark preaches to a crowd of people before the walls of a city, possibly in North Africa or Aquileia in Italy.
Inscription: [in Greek, on the pages of the open book:] [The] beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ [Mark 1:1]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th–9th Century)," March 12, 2012–July 8, 2012.