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Gabled triptych, 2 registers (frise d'arcatures) (Front)

Gabled triptych, 2 registers (frise d'arcatures) (Front)
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Religious. Passion. Infancy of Christ.

Repository Institution

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Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago

Inv. 1937.827

Ivory;silver (modern hinges)

Height: 257mm
Width: 175mm (open)

Wing, left
Register 1: Carrying of the Cross with the Virgin helping Christ.
Register 2: Annunciation; vase of lilies; dove of the Holy Spirit.
Centre panel
Register 1: Crucifixion; swooning Virgin supported by Holy Women; saint John the Evangelist and onlookers holding scrolls; sun and moon. 
Register 2: Adoration of the Magi.
Wing, right
Register 1: Noli me Tangere (Christ appearing to saint Mary Magdalene).
Register 2: Presentation in the Temple; Christ standing on the altar between the Virgin and Simeon.
Pointed trefoil in the gable.

Koechlin Number: 0208

Molinier 1890: 14th century, French style.
Koechlin 1924: France, mid 14th century.
Randall 1993 and Museum's opinion 2011: German (Cologne), 3rd quarter of the 14th century.


Two sets of two hinges on either side (modern).

Polychromy - Gilding
Traces of of polychromy and gilding. Recent bronze powder paint on crowns, gifts, and stars in Adoration scene. Small traces of original colour in Christ's hair; his chest wound; the proper right rosette above Christ's head; in the crocket to the proper right of the central king in the Adoration scene; in the bottom section of the groove along with proper right side of the central panel; in the robe of the kneeling king; and in the trefoil above the Crucifixion.

Object Condition
Gable carving restored. Two lost sections and several replaced elements in the frame.

Collection of Frédéric Spitzer (b. 1815-d. 1890), Paris: his sale, Chevallier and Mannheim, Paris, 17 April-16 June 1893, lot 95; collection of Martin A. Ryerson (d. 1932), Chicago (acquired by Durand-Ruel as agent for Martin A. Ryerson; by descent to his widow (d. 1937); bequeathed to the museum in 1937.

La Collection Spitzer (Paris, 1890), I, p. 47, no. 60 (E. Molinier).
R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires gothiques français (Paris, 1924), I, p. 136; II, no. 208.
R. H. Randall, The Golden Age of Ivory: Gothic Ivory Carvings in North American Collections (New York, 1993), no. 44, pp. 56-57.
Images in Ivory. Precious Objects of the Gothic Age, ed. by Peter Barnet, exhibition catalogue, Detroit, The Detroit Institute of Arts, and Baltimore, The Walters Art Gallery, 1997, cat. 44.
H. Krohm, 'Die mittelalterliche Elfenbeine' in KulturStiftung der Länder, Patrimonia 193 (2001), pp. 6-35, fig. 10.
C. Nielsen, 'Devotion and Splendor: Medieval Art at the Art Institute of Chicago', in Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, 30, 2, 2003, pp. 10, 57.
J. Warren, Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, 3 vols (Oxford, 2014), Vol. 2: Sculptures in Stone, Clay, Ivory, Bone and Wood, pp. 573-4, in relation to no. 167.


Photography © The Art Institute of Chicago.

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