Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Pyxis with the Miracle of Christ’s Multiplication of the Loaves

Date:
6th century
Geography:
Made in Spain (lid); Made in North Africa (box)
Culture:
Byzantine
Medium:
Ivory with polychromy
Dimensions:
Overall (with lid): 3 1/2 x 4 3/8 x 5 1/2 in. (8.9 x 11.1 x 14 cm)
Overall (without lid): 3 x 4 1/4 x 5 1/4 in. (7.6 x 10.8 x 13.3 cm)
Top: 1/2 x 4 3/8 x 5 1/2 in. (1.3 x 11.1 x 14 cm)
Classification:
Ivories
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.34a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 300
In this depiction of the Miracle of the Loaves (Mark 8:1–6), an enthroned Christ is flanked by Saints Peter and Paul. Other disciples carry the loaves of bread he has miraculously produced to feed the multitude, loaves that the early church associated with the bread of the Eucharist. It is possible that containers like this were used in connection with the Divine Liturgy.
[ E. Lowengard, London (sold 1905)]; J. Pierpont Morgan (American), London and New York (1905–1913); Estate of J. Pierpont Morgan(1913–1917)
Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 1st ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1925. p. 44, fig. 22, ill. p. 45.

Capps, Edward, Jr. "An Ivory Pyxis in the Museo Cristiano and a Plaque from the Sancta Sanctorum." The Art Bulletin 9, no. 4 (June 1927). pp. 338–39, fig. 5.

Breck, Joseph, and Meyric R. Rogers. The Pierpont Morgan Wing: A Handbook. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1929. p. 44, fig. 22, ill. p. 45.

Miner, Dorothy, ed. Early Christian and Byzantine Art: An Exhibition Held at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Baltimore: Walters Art Museum, 1947. no. 109, p. 41, pl. XIX.

Weitzmann, Kurt. "The Late Roman World." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 35, no. 2 (Autumn 1977). no. 80, pp. 90-91, fig. 80.

Weitzmann, Kurt, ed. Age of Spirituality: Late Antique and Early Christian Art, Third to Seventh Century. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1979. no. 549, pp. 613-614.

Frazer, Margaret English. "Medieval Church Treasuries." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 43, no. 3 (Winter 1985-1986). p. 11, fig. 4.

Randall Jr., Richard H. Masterpieces of Ivory from the Walters Art Gallery. Walters Art Gallery, 1985. pp. 80, 100.

Connor, Carolyn L. The Color of Ivory: Polychromy on Byzantine Ivories. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1998. p. 84.

McLachlan Elizabeth Parker. "Liturgical Vessels and Implements." In The Liturgy of the Medieval Church, edited by Thomas J. Heffernan, and E. Ann Matter. Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages. Kalamazoo, Michigan: Western Michigan University, 2005. pp. 396-397, fig. 5.

Stiegemann, Christoph, ed. CARITAS: Nächstenliebe von den frühen Christen bis zur Gegenwart. Paderborn: Diözesanmuseum Paderborn, 2015. no. 13, pp. 387–89.

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