Exhibitions/ Art Object

Descent from the Cross

12th century
Overall: 5 1/16 x 4 in. (12.9 x 10.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Dom-Museum Hildesheim (DS 11)
Not on view
Joseph of Arimathea lowers the crucified body of Christ toward the Virgin in this ivory plaque, while Saint John the Evangelist grieves on a nearby rock and Nicodemus removes a nail from Christ’s foot. The inscription on the upper edge claims that Bishop Bernward commissioned the work in 1006, but both an error in the inscription and the carving style, with its unusual poses and crude details, suggest a later date.
Cathedral Treasury, Hildesheim (since early 11th century); Dom-Museum Hildesheim (lent to the Art Institute of Chicago (2012–present) Documentation: Victor Heinrich Elbern, Der Hildesheimer Domschatz (Hildesheim: Lax, 1969), no. 11; Michael Brandt and Arne Eggebrecht, eds., Bernward von Hildesheim und das Zeitalter der Ottonen: Katalog der Ausstellung, Hildesheim 1993 (Hildesheim: Bernward Verlag/Mainz: Ph. v. Zabern, 1993), vol. 2, pp. 554-555.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Medieval Treasures from Hildesheim," September 16, 2013–January 5, 2014.