To give the events depicted all the drama of a stage set, the artist who created this prayer bead worked in layers. Our conservator has disassembled the bead to show how it was constructed (select Additional Images above).
Just outside the gates of Jerusalem, Jesus carries his own Cross toward his Crucifixion. The carver pictures it as a noisy and hastily conceived event—workmen in the small relief pinned at the back are only now drilling the holes into the cross of one of the thieves who will be executed alongside Jesus. In the midst of the chaos carved into the openwork medallion is a tender moment: Jesus smiles at Veronica, the woman who offers him a cloth to wipe his face.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.
Inscription: (interior legend): [image of a flower] SVSCEPERV[N]T AVT[EM] IhESVM ET EDVX[E] / RV[N]T ET BAIVLANS SIBI CRVCEM (however, they took Jesus and led [him] out and carrying the cross himself [John 19:16-17])
(upper exterior legend): [image of a flower] LEVEMVS . CORDA . NOSTRA . CVM MANIBVS . AD . D[OMI]N[V]M . I[N] . C[A]EL[OS] (let us lift up our hearts with hands to the Lord in the heavens [Lamentations 3:41])
(lower exterior legend): [image of a flower] ATTENDITE . ET . VIDETE . SI EST . DOLOR . SICVT . DOLOR MEVS (attend and see if there exists pain to such an extent as my pain [Lamentations 1:12])
Baron Albert Oppenheim, Cologne(sold 1906); J. Pierpont Morgan (American), London and New York (1906–1917)
Portland Art Museum. "Masterworks in Wood - The Christian Tradition," November 12, 1975–January 4, 1976.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Incisive Images: Ivory and Boxwood Carvings, 1450–1800," March 13–November 25, 2007.
Toronto. Art Gallery of Ontario. "Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures," November 5, 2016–January 22, 2017.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures," February 22–May 21, 2017.
Molinier, Emile. Collection du Baron Albert Oppenheim: Tableaux et objets d'art, catalogue précédé d'une introduction. Paris: Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts, 1904. no. 93, p. 41, pl. LXII.
Williamson, George Charles. Catalogue of the Collections of Jewels and Precious Works of Art: The Property of J. Pierpont Morgan. Deluxe ed. London: Chiswick Press, 1910. no. 39, pp. 62, 63–64, pl. XXIII, color pl. 16.
Tangerman, E. J. Whittling and woodcarving. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1936. p. 254, fig. 386, 387.
Dingelstedt, Kurt. "Betnuß." Reallexikon zur Deutschen Kunstgeschichte 2 (1948). pp. 377–78.
Portland Art Museum. Masterworks in Wood: The Christian Tradition. Portland, OR: Portland Art Association, 1976. no. 33.
Romanelli, Susan J. "South Netherlandish Boxwood Devotional Sculpture 1475–1530." PhD diss., Columbia University, 1992. no. 26, pp. 279–80, 32, 57, 62, 146 ,147, fig. 43–44.
Boehm, Barbara Drake, and Alexandra Suda. "Devotion." In Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures, edited by Lisa Ellis, and Alexandra Suda. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 2016. p. 96.
Dandridge, Pete, and Lisa Ellis. "Making." In Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures, edited by Lisa Ellis, and Alexandra Suda. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 2016. pp. 20, 24.
Dandridge, Pete, and Lisa Ellis. "Workshop Practices." In Small Wonders: Late-Gothic Boxwood Micro-Carvings from the Low Countries, edited by Frits Scholten. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 2016. pp. 558–59, fig. 256.
Scholten, Frits, ed. Small Wonders: Late-Gothic Boxwood Micro-Carvings from the Low Countries. Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, 2016. no. 17, pp. 156–57, 610.
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