The Murano Diptych

6th century
One of two leaves of an ivory diptych
Museo Nazionale di Ravenna
Created by artists of the Alexandrian school, Egypt

This image is discussed in Erich Dinkler’s introduction to "The Christian Realm: Abbreviated Representations," Weitzmann p. 403.

The ivory presents themes popular in Christian art of the late classical period, mostly themes related to resurrection and the baptism that prefigures it. In the center Christ sits enthroned under a canopy, as in images of the emperor, surrounded by his "court" of evangelists.  On the left, he heals the blind man in the upper panel and the Gadarene demoniac in chains (Mark 5:1-15) in the lower one.  On the right, the upper image has the raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-45) while in the lower one the crippled man picks up his bed and walks (Mark 2:1-12, Luke 5:18-25, Matthew 9:2-7).

The bottom tells the story of Jonah: On the right he is thrown into the sea, where the sea monster awaits with open mouth. On the left the monster has deposited him and he is sleeping under the gourd tree (Jonah 4:6-12) at the command of God, who is represented by an angel. (The lesson is pictured as an angel, Greek aggelos being the word for "messenger" or "message.")

Beneath the central panel of Christ we also see the three men in the fiery furnace with the angel (Daniel 3).

More of Christ in Majesty
More of Lazarus
More of Christ's miracles
More of Jonah
More of the Fiery Furnace

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