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Relief - Christ in Majesty and Apostles
  • Christ in Majesty and Apostles
    Unknown Francisco Pallás y Puig Don, born 1859 - died 1926
  • Enlarge image

Christ in Majesty and Apostles

  • Object:

    Relief

  • Place of origin:

    Valencia (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1900-7 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown
    Francisco Pallás y Puig Don, born 1859 - died 1926 (carver)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Elephant ivory

  • Museum number:

    A.87-1956

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The apostles on the present plaque seem to be inspired by those on the central west doorway at Saint-Denis, of about 1140, and the overall composition is probably modelled on the central doorway of the 'Royal Portal' of Chartres Cathedral, of 1145-50.
The maker of these plaques was revealed to be Francisco Pallás y Puig of Valencia (1859-1926), an extraordinarily gifted and versatile ivory carver who produced works not only in the Romanesque style, but also in Late Gothic and Cordovan manner.
In the years around 1907, a number of ivory plaques in the Romanesque and Early Gothic style appeared on the Paris art market.
Three of these plaques which appeared on the Paris art market, including the present plaque, showed Christ in Majesty with the four Evangelist symbols, and one illustrated St Peter and another apostle twisting to confront one another (this reappeared on the London art market in 2002). All of these plaques were loosely based on 12th century prototypes but do not copy them.

Physical description

Christ is shown in a mandorla with cable border, surrounded by the four Evangelist symbols in separate compartments, and with the twelve apostles below. The top border is chipped at the right. On the back recessed fields with nail-holes and traces of green staining around the latter give the impression that the plaque was once mounted, perhaps as a pax.

Place of Origin

Valencia (made)

Date

ca. 1900-7 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown
Francisco Pallás y Puig Don, born 1859 - died 1926 (carver)

Materials and Techniques

Elephant ivory

Dimensions

Height: 15.5 cm, Width: 9.2 cm

Object history note

Bequest of W.L. Hildburgh, London. Previously on loan from Dr Hildburgh. On the Paris art market around 1907.
In the years around 1907, a number of ivory plaques in the Romanesque and Early Gothic style appeared on the Paris art market.
Three of these plaques which appeared on the Paris art market, including the present plaque, showed Christ in Majesty with the four Evangelist symbols, and one illustrated St Peter and another apostle twisting to confront one another (this reappeared on the London art market in 2002). All of these plaques were loosely based on 12th century prototypes but do not copy them: the two confronted figures, for instance, seem to be derived from the paired apostles on piers from Saint-Etienne in Toulouse or similar figures on the north portal at Cahors Cathedral, and the plaques with Christ in Majesty follow the form and style of tympana in France and Northern Spain.
The apostles on the present plaque seem to be inspired by those on the central west doorway at Saint-Denis, of about 1140, and the overall composition is probably modelled on the central doorway of the 'Royal Portal' of Chartres Cathedral, of 1145-50.
The maker of these plaques was revealed to be Francisco Pallás y Puig of Valencia (1859-1926), an extraordinarily gifted and versatile ivory carver who produced works not only in the Romanesque style, but also in Late Gothic and Cordovan manner.

Descriptive line

Plaque, elephant ivory, Christ in Majesty and Apostles, carved in Valencia ca. 1900-07 by Francisco Pallás y Puig, after a 12th century prototype

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Williamson, Paul. Medieval Ivory Carvings. Early Christian to Romanesque. London, V&A Publishing, Victoria and Albert Museum, 2010, pp. 450-3, cat.no. 120

Materials

Elephant ivory

Subjects depicted

Mandorla; Symbols

Categories

Plaques & Plaquettes; Christianity; Religion; Fakes & forgeries

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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