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Pendant with a Monk and Death
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Pendant with a Monk and Death


Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description Surely intended for the use of a monk, this pendant represents a head divided to depict a monk on one half, and a skull on the other, making explicit the user's own mortality and the certainty of death. The carver conveys the reality of impending death in the monk's eyes rolling into his head, his parted lips, and his pallor, which is suggested by the natural color of ivory. Given the attachment for metal loops on the top of the head and at the base of the skull, it is most likely that this head was part of a string of beads
Exhibitions
  • World of Wonder. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1971-1972.
  • Illuminated Manuscripts: Masterpieces in Miniature. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1984-1985.
  • Living by the Book: Monks, Nuns, and Their Manuscripts. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2013.
  • The Ivory Mirror: Death and Selfhood in Renaissance Art. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick. 2017.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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Creators
Period
c. 1525-50 (Renaissance)
Medium
ivory, painted brass (rings), cord/string
(Ivory & Bone)
Accession Number
71.461
Measurements
H: 2 3/4 × W: 1 13/16 × D: 2 in. (7 × 4.6 × 5.1 cm)
Geographies
  • Belgium (Place of Origin)
  • France (Place of Origin)

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