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Panel (fragment of a painter's box?), 1 register, 3 arches across (frise d'arcatures; plaquette; boîte) (Front)

Panel (fragment of a painter's box?), 1 register, 3 arches across (frise d'arcatures; plaquette; boîte) (Front)
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Detroit, The Detroit Institute of Arts



Height: 95mm
Width: 56mm
Depth: 8mm

Crucifixion, with jet of blood striking the Virgin's chest; swooning Virgin supported by Holy Women; saint John the Evangelist and onlookers holding scrolls.
Row of three quatrefoils within squares. Rounded and pointed trefoils in the spandrels.

Randall 1993: North German or Danish, 3rd quarter of the 14th century.


Traces of two hinges, visible only from the back, on the right side.

Inside the box are two depressions of different sizes separated by a raised ivory strip and three oblong slots in the lower part of the panel.

Object Condition
Three double holes in the raised strips in the lower part of the panel (when seen from the back).

This may have been a painter's box and the slots were probably intended to contain the pigments which were retained here with swivelling straps of ivory, as is indicated by the circular marks around the drilled holes. The open spaces were probably used as palettes (Randall 1993).

Collection of Robert H. Tannahill (by 1928): given by him to the Institute in 1943.

R. H. Randall, The Golden Age of Ivory: Gothic Ivory Carvings in North American Collections (New York, 1993), no. 136.
J. Warren, Medieval and Renaissance Sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum, 3 vols (Oxford, 2014), Vol. 2: Sculptures in Stone, Clay, Ivory, Bone and Wood, pp. 592-3, in relation to no. 178.


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