Title :

A Byzantine triptych in medieval Germany and its modern recovery

Author :
CUTLER, Anthony ;
Publication year :
Language :
English ;
Abstract :
Argues that two previously unknown ivory plaques (Switzerland, private collection) were originally the wings of a 10th-c. Byzantine triptych, the centerpiece of which is a well-known plaque showing Christ enthroned now set into the modern cover of an Ottonian lectionary (MS theol. lat. qu. 3) in the Staatsbibliothek in Berlin. This reconstituted triptych is very closely related to the Romanos plaque in Paris, as well as to a number of other celebrated ivories, the dating of which has been a controverted topic for more than 20 years. In the light of an inventory of the cathedral of Minden drawn up in 1683, the newly discovered wings can be identified with plaques applied to the cover of an epistolary prepared at the order of Siegbert, bishop of Minden (1022-1036). On the same basis, the plaque with Christ enthroned is shown to have been mounted on the cover of a matching but now lost lectionary, rebound for the Royal Library in Berlin before 1828. The fact that the pair of service books and their bindings were made for an Ottonian bishop who died in 1036 indicates that the Romanos ivory in Paris, and pieces long accepted as its relatives, could not have been carved for the fourth emperor of that name (1068-1071) but must date from the time of Romanos II (959-963). Moreover, the careful dismemberment of the triptych and the intelligent application of its parts in Ottonian Germany point to a more sensitive use of Byzantine sacred art in the west than has traditionally been supposed. ;
Pagination/Size :
13 ill. (2 col.) ;
Topic :
French keywords :
Allemagne ; Berlin (DEU), Staatsbibliothek ; Byzantin (art) ; Ivoire ; Ottonien (art) ; Plaque ; Plat de reliure ; Réemploi ; Siegbert, évêque de Minden, m.1036 ; Triptyque ; 1000-1100 ; 900-1000 ;
Descriptors :
Berlin (DEU), Staatsbibliothek ; Book covers (plat de reliure) ; Byzantine ; Germany ; Ivories ; Ottonian ; Plaques ; Reuse ; Siegbert, bishop of Minden, d.1036 ; Triptychs ; 1000-1100 ; 900-1000 ;
Document type :
Article ;
Source :
Gesta (Fort Tryon Park, N.Y.), 1998, 37, 1
INIST identifier :
24993108 ;
ISSN 0016-920X ;
Provenance :
Bibliographie d'Histoire de l'Art ;
Publisher :
International Center of Medieval Art, Fort Tryon Park, NY
Publisher country :