Ivories of the So-Called Grado Chair: The Prophet Joel
Made in Eastern Mediterranean or Egypt
3 15/16 x 3 3/8 in. (10 x 8.5 cm)
Musée du Louvre, Département des Objets d’Art, Paris (AC 864)
Not on view
The original use and arrangement of these fourteen ivories of the So-called Grado Chair with scenes from the life of Christ, depictions of saints, and of Saint Mark as first bishop of Alexandria remain uncertain. They may have been part of a liturgical throne given by Emperor Heraclius (r. 610–41) to Grado, Italy, after his successful re-conquest of Egypt. On this plaque, the prophet Joel points to heaven as he holds a scroll inscribed in Greek, "Then the Lord became jealous for his land, and had pity on his people" (Joel 2:18).
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Inscription: [in Greek, on the scroll:] Then the Lord became jealous for his land, and had pity on his people [Joel 2:18]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th–9th Century)," March 12, 2012–July 8, 2012.