Panels from an Ivory Casket with the Story of Adam and Eve


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 300

This panel is one from a series of scenes of the lives of Adam and Eve that originally decorated a small box. On this panel Adam and Eve, identified with Greek inscriptions, work at a metal forge; on the other panel they harvest grain (see 17.190.138). Two intact caskets that show similar scenes of Adam and Eve's toil also display Ploutos, the personification of wealth-a reminder to the owner of the treasure stored in the casket that prosperity is a gift from God and that God favors those who repent of their sins.

Panels from an Ivory Casket with the Story of Adam and Eve, Elephant ivory, gilding, and polychromy, Byzantine

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