Diptych with scenes of the Nativity, the Crucifixion, and the Last Judgement
Unknown artist, French, Île de France
Diptych with scenes of the Nativity, the Crucifixion, and the Last Judgement, ca. 1275–1325
Ivory with traces of polychromy (colored paint)
Panel: 24.1 x 13.3 cm (9 1/2 x 5 1/4 inches) (each)
Museum Appropriation Fund 22.201
This diptych was intended for private devotional viewing by privileged members of the French court and the Roman Catholic Church. Composed of four arcaded compartments once embellished with gold leaf and colored pigments, it narrates Mary’s role as mother and intercessor. The Annunciation and the Nativity of Christ at lower left face the presentation of the Infant Jesus to gift-bearing Magi. Above, Mary swoons at the Crucifixion, then reappears enthroned to be crowned by Christ. In the final panel at the upper right she kneels beside Christ on Judgment Day as souls arise from tiny sepulchers below.