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Virgin and Child
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Virgin and Child


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This unusually large ivory carving, its shape corresponding to the shape of a tusk, shows the Christ Child embracing his mother in a pose of tender intimacy. It is one of the earliest examples of what in later Byzantine times was called Eleousa, or "Virgin of Tenderness." The relief was likely to have been used for private devotion, in either a monastic or domestic setting, as an icon (Greek for "image"). Especially striking and typical of the early medieval period in Christian Egypt are the Virgin's large head, fixed gaze, and angular drapery.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
12/13/1962Examinationexamined for loan
8/22/2007Treatmentcleaned
Exhibitions
  • Early Christian and Byzantine Art. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1947.
  • Ivory: The Sumptuous Art. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1983-1984.
  • Déjà Vu? Recurrence. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2007-2008.
Provenance Cologne, 1870s; M.-B. Meyers, Strasbourg, 1877, by purchase; Sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, November 26, 1877; Michel Boy, Paris [date of acquisition unknown], by purchase; Sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 15, 1905, no. 240; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1905, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1905

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Creators
Period
7th-8th century (Early Medieval)
Medium
ivory
(Ivory & Bone)
Accession Number
71.297
Measurements
H: 10 1/4 x W: 4 7/8 x D: 1 15/16 in. (26.1 x 12.4 x 5 cm)
Geographies
  • Egypt (Place of Origin)

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