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Gabled polyptych, with arches (tabernacle; frise d'arcatures; colonnettes; roses) (Front)

Gabled polyptych, with arches (tabernacle; frise d'arcatures; colonnettes; roses) (Front)
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Detail, front



Religious. Infancy of Christ.

Repository Institution

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Trani, Museo dell'Arcidiocesi di Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie-Nazareth


Ivory;wood;metal and gems (later crown of the Virgin in the centre panel)

Height: 360mm
Width: 310mm

Wings, left
Register 1: angel holding a scroll. Angel holding a crown.
Register 2: Simeon (misplaced, from Presentation in the Temple scene). Visitation; angel holding a scroll (possibly misplaced, as would belong more to an Annunciation scene).
Register 3: adoring Magus (part of the Adoration of the Magi, with the central Virgin and Child); Joseph holding a basket of doves brought as offerings (part of the Presentation in the Temple; misplaced); adoring Magus.
Centre panel
Standing Virgin and Child; Virgin holding a stem of flowers in her right hand; Christ making a blessing gesture; Christ holding a fruit in his left hand; brooch.
Wings, right
Register 1: angel holding a crown. Angel holding a scroll.
Register 2: Nativity; swaddled Christ. Joseph.
Register 3: Virgin from the Annunciation scene (?). Virgin holding Christ (from Presentation in the Temple scene).

Koechlin Number: 0141

Koechlin 1924: France, 14th century.
Gnoli 1919: 14th century.
D'Elia 1964: 14th century.
Giusti 1981: c. 1280-1290.
De Castris 1986: French sculptor, c. 1270.
Pepe 2010: beginning of 14th century.
Mignozzi 2012: France, c. 1277.


Polychromy - Gilding
Extensive traces of polychromy and gilding: gold (hair; decoration along the hems), red (inside the Virgin's veil), blue (bedding in the Nativity scene).

Wooden backing.

Object Condition
A number of figures are misplaced (see description), and one is probably missing.

Said to have been commissioned by Charles I of Anjou and given to the Cathedral of Trani in memory of his son Phillip, buried in the cathedral.

U. Gnoli, 'Avori francesi nella Galleria Nazionale di Perugia', in Bolletino d'arte 13 (1919), p. 110.
R. Koechlin, Les Ivoires gothiques français (Paris, 1924), II, no. 141.
M. D'Elia, Mostra dell'arte in Puglia dal tardo-antico al Roccoco, exhibition catalogue, Bari and Rome, 1964, pp. 52-53, no. 54.
Medioevo e produzione artistica di serie. Smalti di Limoges e avori gotici in Campania, ed. by P. Giusti, P. Leone de Castris, exhibition catalogue, Naples, Museo Duca di Martina, 1981, p. 42.
P. Leone de Castris, Arte di corte nella Napoli angioina. Da Carlo I a Roberto il Saggio (Florence, 1986), pp. 161-163, fig. 26.
P. Leone de Castris, 'Napoli "capitale" del gotico europeo: il referto dei documenti e quello delle opere sotto il regno di Carlo I e Carlo II d'Angiò', in Il Gotico europeo in Italia (Naples, 1994), pp. 239-252 (fig. 3).
A. Pepe, 'Note per una lettura del percorso espositivo', in Arte in Puglia dal Medioevo al Settecento: il Medioevo, ed. by F. Abbate (Rome 2010), pp. 151-156.
M. Mignozzi, 'L'altarolo eburneo della cattedrale di Trani: dalla tradizione alla realtá storica', in Arte Medievale, IV serie, anno II (2012), pp. 271-296.


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