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Gabled diptych, 4 registers, 3 arches across (frise d'arcatures; colonnettes) (Front)

Gabled diptych, 4 registers, 3 arches across (frise d'arcatures; colonnettes) (Front)
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Rome, Vatican, Musei Vaticani

Inv. 62444 (Morey A82)


Height: 305mm
Width: 100mm (each)
Depth: 12mm
Weight: 402.2g (left wing); 389.8g (right wing)

Wing, left
Register 1: Coronation of the Virgin; angel crowning the Virgin; two kneeling angels holding candlesticks; two standing angels praying.
Register 2: Annunciation. Nativity; Virgin holding Christ with both hands.
Register 3: Herod ordering the Massacre of the Innocents; soldier killing a child with his sword. Flight into Egypt.
Register 4: Adoration of the Magi (with Virgin and Child in the centre); Christ standing on the Virgin's left knee.
Wing, right
Register 1: Christ in Glory (Christ displaying his wounds); angels holding Instruments of the Passion (nails; spear; cross); Virgin Mary and saint John the Baptist kneeling.
Register 2: Crucifixion with the Virgin and saint John the Evangelist; Longinus kneeling in prayer; Stephaton giving Christ vinegar; titulus.
Register 3: Deposition with the Virgin holding Christ's hand; Joseph of Arimathea holding Christ's body; man with pincers removing the nail from Christ's feet; standing figure of the Church (Ecclesia), holding a spear and a church; saint John the Evangelist holding the shroud.
Register 4: Entombment (Anointing of Christ's body); Virgin in prayer; tomb decorated with medallions enclosing pierced quatrefoils.
Tracery; blind arches. Pinnacles.

Koechlin Number: 0037

Koechlin 1924: France, late 13th century.
Morey 1936: Northern Italy (Milan?), 1st half of the 14th century.
Gaborit-Chopin 1978: Northern France (?), c. 1250-1270.
Detroit 1997: French, c. 1260-1270.

Soissons group (Atelier du Diptyque de Soissons)

Traces of three missing hinges (only visible from the back).

Polychromy - Gilding
Traces of polychromy: eyes and hair.

Flat with some scoring.

Object Condition
Missing: spear originally held by Longinus; outer pinnacles; part of the spear held by Ecclesia.
Holes for two missing clasps to keep the diptych closed.

Unknown provenance.

R. Kanzler, Gli avori dei musei profano e sacro della Biblioteca Vaticana (Rome, 1903), no. 64, pl. XVII (wings were swapped around).
A. Rossi, Les Ivories gothiques français du Vatican, Gazette des Beaux-Arts (1905), p. 394 (with ill.).
R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires gothiques français (Paris, 1924), I, pp. 76, 81; II, no. 37, pl. XIV.
C. R. Morey, Gli oggetti di avorio e di osso del Museo Vaticano (Vatican City, 1936), p. 76, no. A82, pl. XIX.
J. Natanson, Gothic Ivories of the 13th and 14th Centuries (London, 1951), pp. 18-19.
D. Gaborit-Chopin, Ivoires du Moyen Age (Freiburg, 1978), no. and fig. 214.
H. Stahl, 'Narrative Structure and Content in Some Gothic Ivories of the Life of Christ', in 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, pp. 95-114 (fig. VII-3).
P. Williamson and G. Davies, Medieval Ivory Carvings 1200-1550 (London, 2014), pp. 167-169, in relation to no. 51.


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