Text and Image : Ivory Nativity

Text and Image

<p style='text-align: justify;'> Panel from a book cover, divided into two compartments</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Upper [the larger]: Adoration of the Magi; The Virgin, beneath a small canopy supported on Spirally-fluted columns surmounted by two crosses, is seated on a cushioned throne with high back and carved legs, her feet resting on a hassock; her long mantle is drawn over her head, forming a hood. On her lap is the Christ Child, both are facing front. On her right is an angel and the three Magi present their offerings in bowls which rest on napkins. The Magi are wearing caps, short tunics and long trousers on which, as on the robes of the Virgin and child, a pattern has been drawn.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Lower: the Nativity. On the left is the Virgin, reclining on a large mattress and looking to the right where, flanked by the ox and the ass, the Child lies wrapped in swaddling clothes in a manger of masonry, in front of which the incredulous Salome stretches out her withered hand. To the Virgin's left, between her and the ox, stands Joseph in a long robe, a large rod in his left hand and his right arm raised. The ivory is dark & shows traces of gilding & colouring. Sixth century. </p>

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