Saturday, March 24, 2018

03 Carvings, Biblical Carvings & Sculpture from Byzantium With Footnotes 6

Byzantine Empire, ca. 7th century CE. This is a 14k+ gold pendant inlaid with an inscribed shell intaglio featuring a religious figure and writing. Size: 0.9" W x 1.2" H (2.3 cm x 3 cm), weighing 4 grams. 

Byzantine Empire, ca. 1000 CE. An incredibly detailed and lifelike hand with fine details of joints and fingernails. The shape of the palm is particularly well done and realistic. The hand holds, between its index finger and thumb, a globus cruciger, the orb and cross, a Christian symbol of authority from the medieval period until today. The bronze hand here was probably sculpted to represent a bishop, a saint, or some other figure of power. The symbol originally comes from the idea of holding the world in one hand, often held in Roman art by Jupiter; in the fifth century, the cross was added, to show the Christian God's dominion over the earth. Size: 2.15" W x 5.5" H (5.5 cm x 14 cm) 

Eastern Roman Empire, Byzantium, ca. 10th to 12th century CE. A near-miniature, tombstone-shaped, solid-cast iron icon with a bas-relief image of Jesus Christ as Pantocrator holding the Gospel book on one side and a cross on the verso. This depiction of Pantocrator Christ is somewhat unusual as the Gospel is closed and Christ is not making the blessing gesture. Notice the remarkable technique of this piece, in particular the elegant delineations of Christ's wavy hair and the folds of his cascading robe. The most accepted translation of Pantocrator is "Almighty" or "All Powerful" and the visage of Jesus certainly projects his ominpotence. This iconic depiction continues to be a central icon of the Eastern Orthodox Church. A beautiful and technically impressive personal devotional object, a wonderful and rare example. Size: 1.75" W x 2.125" H (4.4 cm x 5.4 cm)

Acknowledgement: Artemis Gallery

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