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Cross of Sibyl of Anjou

Mosan

Not on view

Sibyl of Anjou (ca. 1112–1165), stepdaughter of Melisende, queen of Jerusalem, appears as a tiny, veiled figure at the foot of the cross, which was once part of a book cover. An inscription over her head begs Jesus and Mary for pardon, and her upraised glance, gesture, and pose suggest the urgency of her plea. This ivory was carved in Europe, where she lived after her wedding. After many years and multiple children, Sibyl traveled to the Holy Land, where she eventually joined the convent at Bethany, just outside Jerusalem, which Melisende had endowed. None of the items that Melisende presented to the convent have survived, but this ivory gives some indication of the community’s wealth.

Cross of Sibyl of Anjou, Walrus ivory, Mosan

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