Panel with Scene from the Life of a Saint

North Spanish

On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 14

On this panel four men hoist what appears to be a palm tree, or possibly a column, over a nude male figure, who lies on the ground and touches the tree trunk. Whether a violent or healing act, the scene may depict an episode from a life of a saint, considering that it was carved in a monastic workshop known for its use of ivory and inventive narrative imagery. Coinciding with the rise of the Christian kingdoms, the eleventh century saw a growing interest in the depiction of saints’ stories, and particularly those of early Spanish martyrs.

Panel with Scene from the Life of a Saint, Elephant ivory, North Spanish

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