Zacchaeus

The bas-relief tablet is among the finest examples of late Roman ivories. It is a justly famous piece because it is one of the first ivory diptychs with religious content and one of the earliest known representations of the Holy Sepulchre, which appears below the images of two Evangelists: Luke, symbolised by a bull, and Mathew, by an angel. In the scene below, the women, united in mourning for the dead Saviour, encounter a character, who represents an angel or the risen Christ. The presence of only two evangelists suggests the existence of a second piece, now lost.

[click pictures to enlarge] Marys at the Sepulchre, carved ivory, 5th century AD. Museum of Decorative Arts, Milan. From the museum’s description:

The bas-relief tablet is among the finest examples of late Roman ivories. It is a justly famous piece because it is one of the first ivory diptychs with religious content and one of the earliest known representations of the Holy Sepulchre, which appears below the images of two Evangelists: Luke, symbolised by a bull, and Mathew, by an angel. In the scene below, the women, united in mourning for the dead Saviour, encounter a character, who represents an angel or the risen Christ. The presence of only two evangelists suggests the existence of a second piece, now lost.
The doors of the building behind the women are decorated with three scenes from the Gospels, the Resurrection of Lazarus, Zacchaeus climbing the tree to see Jesus [above the hand of the Mary on the right] and Christ teaching the crowd. The attribution of such an early date, the 5th century AD, stems from stylistic considerations. The refined workmanship, the late Roman culture of the sculptor, and the extraordinary softness of carving, places the origin of the piece in one of the capitals of the Western Empire, probably Rome.

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Albani Psalter. English, 13th century. Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem with a young man in a tree, maybe Zacchaeus.
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Initial D (Zacchaeus and Christ). Hildesheim, probably 1170s. Tempera colors, gold leaf, silver leaf and ink on parchment, 11.1 x 7.4 inches. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles / Google Cultural Institute
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“The Freiburg Leaf”: above, Christ and Zacchaeus; below, SS. George and Theodore. Upper Rhenish artist, working in the Mediterranean, c. 1200. Silverpoint and sepia with red ink on vellum, 12.3 x 8 inches. Augustinermuseum, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. See Jaroslav Folda in The Glory of Byzantium; The Experience of Crusading; and Crusader Art in the Holy Land: From the Third Crusade to the Fall of Acre, 1187-1291.
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From Mojmir S. Frinta, “The Master of the Gerona Martyrology and Bohemian Illumination” (1964). Also
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Fresco (Christ and Zacchaeus), about 1275, Keldby Church, Vordingborg, Denmark.
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Giotto di Bondone, The Entry into Jerusalem, Scrovegni Chapel, Padua, 1305. One of the figures in the trees might or might not be Zacchaeus.
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Deposition with Joseph of Arimathea receiving Christ’s body, flanked by the Virgin, St. John, Nicodemus and Zacchaeus. Carved ivory panel, Belgian, 15th century, 3.1 x 2.2 inches. British Museum.
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Christ at the house of Zacchaeus. Gospel lectionary, Flanders, 1450s. Musee Marmottan, Paris.
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Master of Antwerp, Meal in the House of Zacchaeus / Zacchaeus in the Fig Tree, 1485-1491. Woodcut, 3.7 x 5.2 inches. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. (Google)
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Hans Burgkmair, Zacchaeus climbing a tree to see Christ, 1508. Woodcut and letterpress, 7.4 x 5.6 inches. Illustration from Johann Geiler von Kaisersberg, Predigen teütsch, Augsburg: J. Otmar, 1510. British Museum.
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Christ calling Zacchaeus out of the tree. Fresco, Church of the Epiphany, Yaroslavl, Russia, 1692-1693.
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Jacopo Palma (Palma il Giovane), Christ Calling Zacchaeus, c. 1575. Oil on canvas, 39.7 x 16.5 inches. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.
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Jan Luyken (1660-1712). Calling of Zacchaeus. Ink on paper, 6.6 x 8.7 inches. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. (Google Cultural Institute)
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Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (1727-1804), The Meeting of Christ and Zacchaeus. Pen and ink and wash, 17.9 x 14.1 inches. 1 2 3

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