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Panel - The Raising of Lazarus

The Raising of Lazarus

  • Object:

    Panel

  • Place of origin:

    Byzantine (or the Holy Land, made)

  • Date:

    12th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Elephant ivory

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Mrs Cowell

  • Museum number:

    A.66-1925

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This relief panel, probably made in Byzantium (Constantinople) or the Holy Land in the 12th century, represents the Raising of Lazarus.
It is likely that the plaque formed part of the left wing of a Passion triptych, with the panel showing the Threnos or Lamentation, now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York. Between the scenes was a panel with a large blossoming leaf, the stalk of which can be seen above the upper border of the New York plaque. The reconstructed wing would have exactly resembled two leaves in two plaques in Pesaro and the dimensions would have been the same. The style and facture of all these pieces are identical and they must emanate from the same workshop.

Physical description

Relief in ivory. Christ stands on the left before the tomb, bidding Lazarus to emerge, while an attendentunwinds the linen strip with his left hand and covers his mouth with his right. The door of the tomb lies on the ground and a stylized palm tree is shown above Christ's head. At the top and bottom are borders of acanthus. Inscribed on the back with the Greek letter alpha. There are three pierced holes in the ivory.

Place of Origin

Byzantine (or the Holy Land, made)

Date

12th century (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Elephant ivory

Marks and inscriptions

The greek letter alpha.
on the back

Dimensions

Height: 9.3 cm, Width: 4.3 cm

Object history note

Bequest of Mrs Cowell, 1925.
It is likely that the plaque formed part of the left wing of a Passion triptych, with the panel showing the Threnos or Lamentation, now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York. Between the scenes was a panel with a large blossoming leaf, the stalk of which can be seen above the upper border of the New York plaque. The reconstructed wing would have exactly resembled two leaves in two plaques in Pesaro and the dimensions would have been the same. The style and facture of all these pieces are identical and they must emanate from the same workshop.

Descriptive line

Panel, ivory, the Raising of Lazarus, Byzantine (Constantinople) or the Holy Land, 12th century

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

Goldschmidt, A. and Weitzmann, K. Die byzantinischen Elfenbeinskulpturen des X. - XIII. Jahrhunderts, Zweiter Band: Reliefs, Berlin, 1934 (reprinted, Berlin, 1979), cat.no. 122.
Keck, Andrew S. A Group of Italo-Byzantine Ivories. The Art Bullentin. XII, 1930. p. 148. fig. 2.
Longhurst, Margaret H. Catalogue of Carvings in Ivory. London: Published under the Authority of the Board of Education, 1927-1929. Part I. p. 45.
Williamson, Paul. Medieval Ivory Carvings. Early Christian to Romanesque. London, V&A Publishing, Victoria and Albert Museum, 2010, pp. 138, 9, cat.no. 32

Production Note

Byzantine. Formerly believed to be Italian (Venetian) of the late 12th or early 13th century.

Materials

Ivory

Subjects depicted

Palm tree; Tomb

Categories

Christianity; Religion; Sculpture

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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