L. Archangel Michael. R. Symmachi diptych Priestess.
ROMAN LATE ANTIQUE Anonymous
(284 - c. 500)
4th-6th c Byzantine Byzantine (Early) Applied Arts
ROMAN LATE ANTIQUE Anonymous (284 - c. 500)
Constantinople (Istanbul). Turkey.
London. British Museum.
These two ivory panels, one from the late 4th and the other from the early 6th century, demonstrate that the old Classical forms and pagan beliefs did not die easily. Therefore, they make an excellent comparison to the two previous panels. Here the bodies are more clearly defined and the drapery is much lighter, allowing the natural movement of the bodies to show through. One is a pagan and one a Christian scene. The panel on the right is one wing of an ivory diptych that was used to announce the wedding between two members of the old Roman elite, the Nichomachi and Summachi families. In this panel, inscribed with the name of the Summachi family, a pagan priestess celebrates the rites of Bacchus and Jupiter. On the corresponding panel, another priestess celebrates the rites of Ceres and Cybele.
Caption: L. Archangel Michael. R. Symmachi diptych Priestess. Archangel Michael. | c. 500-599 | Byzantine | Byzantine (EARLY)
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