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Holy Women & Soldiers at the Sepulchre
on an Ivory Plaque
10th Century, Milan, Italy

A detail of Soldiers at the Sepulchre on an Ivory Plaque, 10th Century, Milan, Italy

Plaque with the Holy Women at the Sepulchre
Date: early 10th century
Geography: Made in Milan (?), Italy
Culture: North Italian
Medium: Elephant ivory
Dimensions: Overall: 7 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 5/16 in. (19 x 10.8 x 0.8 cm)
Classification: Ivories
Credit Line: Purchase, The Cloisters Collection and Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1993
Accession Number: 1993.19

This ivory plaque probably once served as part of a decorative cover for a liturgical manuscript. Three holy women intent on anointing the body of Jesus approach his burial place, the Holy Sepulchre, seen here as a two story cylindrical building. A man "robed in white," and endowed here with wings, informs them that Jesus has risen from the dead. The Roman soldiers are asleep at their posts, completely unaware of the miracle of the Resurrection that has taken place.
Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

See also Basilewsky Situla, Soldiers at the Sepulchre, Ottonian Milan, Italy, c.980AD, Victoria and Albert Museum
Other Ottonian and Carolingian Illustrations of Costume and Soldiers
Italian Illustrations of Costume and Soldiers
10th Century Illustrations of Costume and Soldiers