Booklet with Scenes of the Passion

North French (carving); Upper Rhenish (painting)

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 537

An exceptional ivory object, this diminutive booklet is unusual in that both the exterior covers, depicting scenes of the Passion, and the interior covers, containing representations of the Virgin, are carved. The religious nature of the booklet suggests that it served as an accessory for private devotion. The painted images facing the covers are later additions, since they transform the subjects of the carvings. Except for the two painted leaves, all have raised edges. Wax may have been applied to the surfaces, allowing prayers of intercession or litanies of saints to be inscribed on the tablets with a stylus.

Booklet with Scenes of the Passion, Elephant ivory, polychromy, and gilding, North French (carving); Upper Rhenish (painting)

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