Plaque with Scenes at Emmaus


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.

Plaque with Scenes at Emmaus, Elephant ivory, Carolingian

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