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Crucifixion with the Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist

This exquisitely carved image of the Crucifixion once formed the right side of a diptych. Small diptychs of this sort were commonly used as aids for private devotion in medieval Europe, and ivory was a preferred medium for those who could afford it. An increased supply of elephant ivory—obtained through trade with Africa and Asia—inspired a golden age of ivory carving in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Probably produced in France, this carving exemplifies the Gothic style with its elegantly swaying curvature of the figures and the trefoil arch framing the crucified Christ.

France
Crucifixion with the Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist
ca. 1350
Ivory
5 1/16 x 3 5/16 x 7/16 in. (14.4 x 8.4 x 1.1 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 72.100.3