Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Plaque with Scenes at Emmaus

ca. 850–900
Made in northern France
Elephant ivory
Overall: 4 9/16 x 9 1/4 x 1/4 in. (11.5 x 23.5 x 0.6 cm)
Credit Line:
The Cloisters Collection, 1970
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 14
Among the finest ivory carvings in the Cloisters collection, this plaque depicts Christ’s appearance to two of his disciples after his Resurrection. Christ, who is distinguished by his halo, meets the disciples along the road to the town of Emmaus, near Jerusalem. As described in the Gospel of Luke (24:13–35), although not recognizing Christ, they urge him to stay in town with them. Once within Emmaus, they finally recognize him as he breaks bread for their shared evening meal. Judging from the horizontal format and the recesses along the top edge to accommodate hinges, this plaque once served as the back panel of a small coffret. Originally, the recessed images of birds and flowers in the border were filled with gold foil.
Ernst and Marthe Kofler-Truniger, Lucerne (sold 1970)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Patterns of Collecting," December 6, 1975–March 23, 1976.

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