Panel with St. Peter or St. Paul (?)


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 300

Early images of religious figures are often difficult to identify. The book the man holds may mean that he is an evangelist, one of the authors of the four Gospels. His round face, short, curly beard, and balding head are typical for depictions of Saint Peter, but the lack of keys, which become a standard attribute of the saint, makes that identification uncertain. The nail holes on the edges of the ivory suggest that it may have been one of the many Byzantine ivories used to decorate the covers of religious texts when these were later taken to the West.

Panel with St. Peter or St. Paul (?), Elephant ivory, Byzantine

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