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Louvre acquires Exquisite 13th Century Ivory

March 2, 2013
Diptyque représentant la Nativité, la Crucifixion et dix-huit prophètes, Constantinople, XIIIe siècle  Ivoire - 29 x 21,6 x 1,1cm Paris, Musée du Louvre Photo : 2013 Musée du Louvre/ Thierry Ollivier

Diptyque représentant la Nativité,
la Crucifixion et dix-huit prophètes,
Constantinople, XIIIe siècle
Ivoire – 29 x 21,6 x 1,1cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : 2013 Musée du Louvre/ Thierry Ollivier

The Art Tribune reports that the Louvre has recently acquired an eloquent 13th century ivory diptych depicting the Nativity, the Crucifixion and 18 prophets. The Byzantine work features the Nativity in the upper register of the left panel and the Crucifixion in the upper register of the right panel.  Below each scene are the prophets that correspond with each event, their names inscribed in Greek lettering.  The article notes: “[T]he decor of the cross on the reverse and the inscriptions are found on two other diptychs, one preserved in the Treasury of the Cathedral of Chambéry and the other in the Museum of Warsaw; [t]hese three pieces could come from the same workshop.”

According to the Tribune, the international audit and consultancy Mazars Group largely contributed to the acquisition of this work, as it had already done for Nicolas Poussin’s The Flight into Egypt in 2007 (deposited at the Museum of fine arts of Lyon), Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres’ Portrait du Comte Molé in 2009 and Lucas Cranach’s The Three Graces in 2010.

Revers du diptyque Constantinople, XIIIe siècle  Ivoire - 29 x 21,6 x 1,1cm Paris, Musée du Louvre Photo : 2013 Musée du Louvre/ Thierry Ollivier

Revers du diptyque
Constantinople, XIIIe siècle
Ivoire – 29 x 21,6 x 1,1cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre
Photo : 2013 Musée du Louvre/ Thierry Ollivier

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