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Currently shown

Diptych
Scenes from the Passion of Christ

Location

FRANCE (?)

Title

Diptych
Scenes from the Passion of Christ

Date

About 1350

Materials

Ivory, traces of polychrome, gilt

Dimensions

21.6 x 20.5 cm (open)

Credits

Purchase, gift of Miss Olive Hosmer, inv. 1950.51.Dv.6

Collection

Western Art

This portable diptych for private devotion is typical of luxury products from fourteenth-century Western European ivory workshops. The two panels would have been closed when not in use, and therefore significant traces of the gilt and pigment that originally highlighted the carvings survive. Set within open five-arched Gothic tracery, six scenes of Christ’s Passion run up the left panel, beginning with the Entry into Jerusalem, then the Flagellation and culminating in the Crucifixion, and then down the right panel, from the Deposition and the Entombment through the Harrowing of Hell — note the devil’s head and monsters devouring the damned at the lower right corner — when Christ released Adam and Eve. The unusual latter scene may reflect the request of a patron.

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