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 Anonymous - The Virgin, Inviolate Mountain
Franghias Kavertsas - In You rejoices
 Anonymous - The Nativity
 Anonymous - St Martin
 Nikitarea - The Forty Martyrs of Sebaste
 Anonymous - The Archangel Michael and the Archangel Gabriel
 Anonymous - St Charalampe and the devil
 Anonymous - St George
 Anonymous - The Communion of St Mary of Egypt
 Anonymous - Saint Simeon Stylites
 Anonymous - Prophet Elias

Ivory book cover plaque : the Virgin and Child enthroned

Anonymous
Constantinople
2nd half of the 10th century
Elephant ivory
H. : 22,4 cm. ; w. : 14,2 cm. ; d. : 1,1 cm

Ivory plays an important role in the history of precious arts in the Middle Ages. Heir to the ivory work of the ancient world, this art developed in the Eastern Christian world in particular. As the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire from the 4th century until 1453, Byzantium constituted an autonomous and original artistic world. This plaque of the Virgin and Child enthroned belongs to the movement known as the “Macedonian Renaissance” (9th - 11th centuries).

The Virgin, seated on a monumental throne placed under a canopy is holding the child Jesus on her lap. Two medallions containing busts of the apostles John and Paul, or perhaps the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel, are placed on either side of her face.

This sculpted plaque probably decorated the front of the binding of a manuscript. It offers an illustration of a major current in 10th century Byzantine art, which reinterpreted designs from antiquity in its own style and had ties with the Nicephorus group of works (named after the Byzantine emperor Nicephorus, 963 to 969) as is indicated here by the simplified drapery, monumental appearance of the Virgin and the softness of the faces.

Inventory number: 
ODUT01272
Inventory number : ODUT01272
Acquisition details : Dutuit bequest, 1902
Room 35. The Middle Ages and the Renaissance
The Eastern Christian World
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