The Andrews Diptych

The Andrews Diptych

The Andrews Diptych
Probably Italy
Probably 800s
Carved elephant ivory
Width 10 cm (each) x height 30 cm (each)
Museum no. A.47&A-1926

A diptych is formed of two panels fastened together that can be opened and closed. This ivory diptych shows six miracles associated with Jesus Christ, who is shown beardless. From top right the miracles are the Raising of Lazarus, the Marriage at Cana, the Healing of the Leper, the Miracles of the Loaves and Fishes, the Healing of the Blind Man, and the Healing of the Man sick of the Palsy.

The dating and place of production of this ivory are controversial. Some scholar have viewed it as a work of the 400s but several others favour a date in the 800s, a period when there was a renewed interest in late Roman art in western Europe under the Carolingian dynasty (751-987). This revived interest in the culture of the late Roman empire is frequently described as the Carolingian renaissance. Carolingian artists' use of Roman models can make it very difficult to be sure when an ivory object like this was carved.