The Filling of the water pots at the Miracle of Cana thumbnail 1
The Filling of the water pots at the Miracle of Cana thumbnail 2
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images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Medieval & Renaissance, Room 8, The William and Eileen Ruddock Gallery

The Filling of the water pots at the Miracle of Cana

Panel
ca. 650 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

In this depiction of a Gospel story, the servant on the left fills a water jar from a skin while another holds a narrow bottle.The widespread influence of classical styles makes the dating of ivories such as this difficult. The date of this one has been established by scientific methods.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Carved ivory
Brief Description
Panel depicting the filling of the water pots at the Miracle of Cana, relief in ivory, Syrian ca. 650.
Physical Description
Panel depicting the filling of the water pots at the Miracle of Cana, relief in ivory. In the foreground are six water pots. Behind to the right, a servant balances a jar on his shoulder; to the left, another empties a skin into one of the pots, while a third, in the centre, holds a narrow vase, apparently for perfume. The upper part, including the right arm and part of the head of the central figure, is broken away. The lost upper part of the panel represented the Wedding Feast.
Dimensions
  • Height: 11.3cm
  • Width: 9.2cm
  • Depth: 0.8cm
  • Weight: 0.08kg
Measured for the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries 2005
Object history
Formerly in the Gambier-Parry collection , Highnam Court, Gloucestershire.



Historical significance: Various places of origin and date have been suggested ranging from South Italy, late eleventh century, Venice and Alexandria. A recent radiocanbon dating established a date bracket for this ivory 650 and 720 and an origin in Syria/Palestine was suggested. This piece demonstrates clearly the influence of classical/hellenistic sources.
Historical context
The present piece and the relief St Peter dictating the Gospel to St. Mark (270-1867) come From a series of fourteen plaques with scenes from the New Testament and the Life of St. Mark. They formed probably part of an antependium or a pulpit.
Subjects depicted
Literary ReferenceThe Holy Bible: King James Version, John 2
Summary
In this depiction of a Gospel story, the servant on the left fills a water jar from a skin while another holds a narrow bottle.The widespread influence of classical styles makes the dating of ivories such as this difficult. The date of this one has been established by scientific methods.
Bibliographic References
  • P. Williamson, 'On the date of the Symmachi Panel and the so-called Grado Chair Ivories, in Through a Glass Brightly: Studies in Byzantine and Medieval Art and Archeology. Presented to David Buckton, C. Entwistle (ed.), London, 2003, pp. 47-50.
  • Bergman, Robert P. The Salerno Ivories: Ars Sacra from Medieval Amalfi. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1980. pp. 58, 79. fig. 102.
  • Williamson, Paul. The review of The Salerno ivories : ars sacra from medieval Amalfi. The Burlington Magazine. CXXIV. 1982. pp. 299-300.
  • Longhurst, Margaret H. Catalogue of Carvings in Ivory. London: Published under the Authority of the Board of Education, 1927-1929. Part I. p. 33.
  • Williamson, Paul. On the date of the Symmachi panel and the so-called Grado Chair ivories. In: Entwistle, Chris. ed. Throuth a glass brightly. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2003. p. 49. figs. 6.1, 6.4.
  • Burlington Magazine. CIX, 1967. p. 116. fig. 46.
  • Dell'Acqua, Francesca; Cutler, Anthony; Kessler, Herbert L.; Shalem, Avinoam; Wolf, Gerhard, eds. The Salerno Ivories: Objects, Histories, Contexts, Berlin, 2016, pp. 55-56, 69.
  • Bonger, A., Miracula Christi, Stadische Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, 1962
  • Bologna, Ferdinando (ed.), L'enigma degli avori medievali da Amalfi a Salerno, Napoli : Paparo, 200838
  • Bovini, Guiseppe & Ottolenghi, Luisa Bona (eds.), Catalogo della mostra degli avori dell'alto Medio-evo, Ravenna, Ministero della pubblica istruzione, 195684
Collection
Accession Number
A.1-1921

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record createdFebruary 23, 2004
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