Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Booklet with Scenes of the Passion

ca. 1300 (carving); ca. 1310–20 (painting)
North French (carving); Upper Rhenish (painting)
Elephant ivory, polychromy, and gilding
Overall (opened): 2 13/16 x 3 3/16 x 1/2 in. (7.2 x 8.1 x 1.2 cm) Overall (closed): 2 13/16 x 1 9/16 x 7/8 in. (7.2 x 4 x 2.2 cm)
Credit Line:
The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection, 1982
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 626
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.
Albert Freund, Vienna; [ Blumka Gallery, New York]; Jack and Belle Linsky, New York (until 1982)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Notable Acquisitions, 1983-1984 (Metropolitan Museum of Art) (1984). pp. 14–15.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "One Hundred Fourteenth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1983, through June 30, 1984." Annual Report of the Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 114 (1984). p. 40.

The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art . New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1984. no. 50, pp. 132–34.

Parker, Elizabeth C. "Recent Major Acquisitions of Medieval Art by American Museums." Gesta 24, no. 4 (1985). p. 173, fig. 20.

Randall Jr., Richard H. Masterpieces of Ivory from the Walters Art Gallery. Walters Art Gallery, 1985. p. 220.

Little, Charles T. "Gothic Ivory Carving in Germany." In Images In Ivory: Precious Objects of the Gothic Age, edited by Peter Barnet. Detroit: Detroit Institute of Arts, 1997. pp. 89–91, fig. VI-14.

Wixom, William D., ed. Mirror of the Medieval World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. no. 152, pp. 130–31.

Evans, Helen C., ed. The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions – Online Catalogue. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2008.

Guerin, Sarah Margaret. "'Tears of Compunction': French Gothic Ivories in Devotional Practice." PhD diss., University of Toronto, 2009. pp. 146–47, fig. 3-21.

Vandenberghe, Stephane, ed. Ivory in Bruges: Treasures from Museums, Churches and Monasteries. Museumbulletin, Vol. 2. Bruges: Stedelijk Museum, 2010. p. 12.

Lowden, John. Medieval and Later Ivories in the Courtauld Gallery: Complete Catalogue. London: Courtauld Gallery, 2013. pp. 84, 86.

Williamson, Paul, and Glyn Davies. Medieval Ivory Carvings, 1200–1550. Vol. 1. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2014. pp. 353–54.

Yvard, Catherine. "Gothic Ivories and their Owners: An Overview." In A Reservoir of Ideas: Essays in Honour of Paul Williamson, edited by Glyn Davies, and Eleanor Townsend. ohLondon: Paul Holberton Publishing, 2017. pp. 194, 202, Appendix no. 37.

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