Christ Blessing; Christ Pantocrator

2009cb7515 jpg l

View the V&A API .json response

Acquired in 1910 (the spelunker thinks)

artist
Unknown
attributions_note
bibliography
Longhurst, Margaret H. Catalogue of Carvings in Ivory. Part I. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1927, p. 40 Rice, Talbot. Art of Byzantinum, London, 1959, no. 92 Williamson, Paul. Medieval Ivory Carvings. Early Christian to Romanesque. London, V&A Publishing, Victoria and Albert Museum, 2010, pp. 64-5, cat.no. 11
collection_code
SCP
credit
date_end
0900-12-31
date_start
0850-01-01
date_text
late 9th century (made)
descriptive_line
Panel-relief, ivory in relief, part of icon or book cover, Christ Pantocrator, Byzantine, probably late 19th century
dimensions
Height: 15 cm, Width: 12 cm
edition_number
event_text
exhibition_history
Byzantine Art: A European Art (01/04/1964-15/06/1964) Masterpieces of Byzantine Art (01/10/1958-09/11/1958) Masterpieces of Byzantine Art (23/08/1958-12/09/1958)
gallery
historical_context_note
The iconographical tradition of representing Christ was slow to develop in Byzantine art. Once established, however, images of Christ remained remarkably consistent because of an emphasis from sixth-century onwards on the authentic likeness of Christ that were all supposedly derived from Acheiropoiet fashioned during his lifetime but lost. The best known type is that of Christ Pantokrator - "all sovereign". Traditionally the pantokrator was depicted frontally disposed, a severe bearded figure, blessing with his right hand raised before his chest, while clasping a Gospel book or scroll in his left. On the present example the type of the head is unusually free, and full of character, and in this respect resembles the heads of Christ on the reverse of coins of Justinianus II (685-695); these also have the cross behind the head, without the halo. Reliefs treated with stain in the manner of this panel, are rare, and the colour was probably used to give the appearance of steatite. There seem to be no grounds for the addition of a circle in the plaster restoration of the halo.
historical_significance
history_note
Acquired in London. Said to have come from Syria. Probably, with A.2-1912 from the covers of a book.
id
109903
label
last_checked
2014-08-30T02:58:07.000Z
last_processed
2014-08-30T02:58:07.000Z
latitude
location
In Storage
longitude
marks
materials
ivory
materials_techniques
Carved ivory
museum_number
A.4-1910
museum_number_token
a41910
object_number
O140272
object_type
Panel
on_display
original_currency
original_price
physical_description
Panel depicting the figure of Christ in half-length; the left hand holding a scroll the right hand delivering a blessing. The draperies are richly folded, and there is a jewelled cruciform halo behind Christ's head. The panel has a raised border: the background has almost completely perished, and is restored with green tinted plaster.
place
primary_image_id
2009CB7515
production_note
Byzantine Empire, probably late 9th century
production_type
public_access_description
This relief is said to have come from Syria. Probably, with A.2-1912 from the covers of a book. The iconographical tradition of representing Christ was slow to develop in Byzantine art. Once established, however, images of Christ remained remarkably consistent because of an emphasis from sixth-century onwards on the authentic likeness of Christ that were all supposedly derived from Acheiropoiet fashioned during his lifetime but lost. The best known type is that of Christ Pantokrator - "all sovereign". Traditionally the pantokrator was depicted frontally disposed, a severe bearded figure, blessing with his right hand raised before his chest, while clasping a Gospel book or scroll in his left. On the present example the type of the head is unusually free, and full of character, and in this respect resembles the heads of Christ on the reverse of coins of Justinianus II (685-695); these also have the cross behind the head, without the halo. Reliefs treated with stain in the manner of this panel, are rare, and the colour was probably used to give the appearance of steatite. The green hue could also come as a result of burial, as ivory is extremely permeable and may absorb colour from surrounding materials.
related_museum_numbers
rights
3
shape
site_code
slug
christ-blessing-christ-pantocrator-panel-unknown
sys_updated
2013-08-17T00:00:00.000Z
techniques
carving
title
Christ Blessing; Christ Pantocrator
updated
vanda_exhibition_history
year_end
900
year_start
850