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Right Leaf of a Diptych with Scenes of Christ's Passion
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Right Leaf of a Diptych with Scenes of Christ's Passion

Description Conservation Provenance Credit
Description The Washing of the Feet, Gethsemane, and Crucifixion are shown beneath arcades of five undecorated trefoil arches. The carving is summary and gives an impressionistic effect of light and shade. Two of the three hinges remain. A rough hole in the center of the top arcade and a chip from the lowest arcade occur, and there are several long vertical cracks in the panel. The whole panel is stained brown, probably reflecting an early application of varnish. The left leaf with the Entry into Jerusalem, Last Supper, and Arrest of Christ is in the collection of the British Railways Pension Fund, on loan to the Walters. The format of the diptych follows the Parisian Passion Diptychs, with several unusual details, for example, the fainting posture of the Virgin, which is seen in some German and Mosan examples in Liege, and the Louvre. The style of the carving suggests either a Mosan artist working in Paris or a Mosan interpretation of a Parisian work. The carving technique is very different, with simplified cutting that has left high ridges for the lay of light and shade. A rare feature is the use of heads, or in some cases heads and shoulders, to indicate figures in the background. In the Gethsemane scene, for instance, there are three Apostles behind Christ: one indicated by a head with his shoulder fading into the hillock, a second with only a head, and the third with a hand and right arm making a gesture. In the Washing of the Feet, heads are also used to indicate figures in the background. The background figures are, in addition, purposefully less well defined, so that the carver has, in effect, introduced what appears to be atmospheric perspective. The matching leaf is carved by another hand in a more conventional manner.
Date Description Narrative
6/29/1964Treatmentcleaned; examined for condition
Provenance Charles Tesart Collection; Tesart Sale, Paris, June 24-25, 1924, lot 88; Henri Daguerre, Paris [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1925, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1925

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ca. 1400 (late Medieval)
(Ivory & Bone)
Accession Number
H: 8 7/8 x W: 4 in. (22.5 x 10.1 cm)
  • Belgium (Place of Origin)
  • France (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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