Диптих слоновой кости из Эрмитажа, относящийся к кругу императора Романа

Диптих слоновой кости из Эрмитажа, относящийся к кругу императора Романа
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The Hermitage possesses an ivory diptych (fig. 1), hitherto unpublished which, as many other ivories, was once in the Basilewsky collection. It represents in abbreviated form Christ’s Presentation in the Temple, being confined to Simeon and the Virgin with Child. Iconographically and stylistically (cf. fig. 2) it belongs to the so-called Romanos group (Goldschmidt–Weitzmann. Die byzantinischen Elfenbeinskulpturen, Bd. II, 1934, S. 14 ff., 33ff. und Taf. X-XXIX) and dates in the second half of the 10th century. Within this group the Leningrad plaques have an especially close relationship to four ivory plaques in the State Library in Bamberg (figs 3a–g) which in the early 11th century were used as book covers for prayer books of the German emperor Henry II and his wife Kunigunde. In addition the Leningrad plaques have precisely the same mesurements and this seems to indicate that they were not only made in the same workshop but actually belong to the same set and once decorated the same object. This means that just like the Bamberg plaques those in Leningrad were not made for a diptych, but turned into one at a later time. In a recent study (Festschrift für Usener. Marburg, 1967) the author has tried to demonstrate that the Bamberg plaques once decorated an epistyle of an iconostasis with the Deesis in the center (with a plaque of John the Baptist being lost), flanked by two archangels (one fragment of Gabriel being preserved ina collection in Paris) and by Peterand Paul (with perhaps some more apostles at either side). The Presentation in the Temple depicted in the Leningrad diptych is one of the twelve great feasts of the Orthodox Church and one can therefore assume that the epistyle contained at either side of the Great Deesis six feasts, each of which presumably occupied two ivory plaques (fig. 4). The narrow format of the ivory plaques must have been a challenge to the carver, but that Byzantine artists were able to cope with such difficult formal problems may be seen in a miniature of the Codex Esphigmenu 14 (fig. 5). Our justification for reconstructing a long beam with the Great Deesis plus the twelve feasts is based on an icon on Mount Sinai from the 11–12th centuries (fig. 6) which shows all the elements of such an iconostasis beam condensed into one panel and surely is derived from such a beam. Recently V. Lazarev and M. Chatzidakis (Δελτ. Χριστ. Ἀρχ. Ἑτ. Per. IV, vol. IV, 1964–1965, 1966, p. 162 sq., 377sq.) have collected rich evidence forepistyles with painted panels of the Deesis and the dodecaortos, beginning with the 11th century. Our ivories would indicate that the introduction of the dodecaortos into the epistyle of the iconostasis had already started in the 10th century. Our ivories would not even be the earliest witness to this. There is on Sinai an icon with the Washing of the Feet (fig. 7) which surely cannot be later than the first half of the 10th century and which, as the horizontal warping proves, was cut from a beam. Though the Washing of the Feet does not belong to the conventional cycle of the 12 feasts, here is another iconostasis beam on Sinai which does add this scene to the dodecaortos. The reconstruction with about 35 plaques may at first glance look unusual for an epistyle of an iconostasis. Yet that such beams did exist, is confirmed by an iconostasis of the church of S. Maria in Valle Porclaneta in South Italy which has about the same number of narrow plaques in a long row. Moreover it will be noticed that some of the painted panels from epistyles (Lazarev, pls. 32–33; Chatzidakis, pls. 88–91) have approximately the same size and shape. Also the calculated length of the beam (between 4,5 and 5 meters) would be in agreement with the beams from Sinai and the one in Vatopedi on Mount Athos. Our epistyle with ivory plaques can have remained assembled for only a very short period of time, since the Bamberg plaques were already reused as bookcovers in the early 11th century as were so many of the Byzantine ivory triptychs which now decorate covers of Ottonian manuscripts. Since the whole group of ivories under consideration comes from a Constantinopolitan workshop which mainly worked for the imperial court and was, as the Bamberg plaques indicate, also in Germany in possession of the imperial family, it is tempting to speculate that the ivories may have decorated an imperial chapel built for Theophano, the Byzantine princess who was married to the emperor Otto II in 972. When Henry II, one time owner of these ivories, donated a golden altar frontal to the Cathedral of Basel, it is conceivable that its new form with standing frontal figures under arches in the manner of a Deesis, was inspired by our ivory epistyle.

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— По всей вероятности, эпистилий с пластинами изготовлен по случаю бракосочетания Оттона II и Феофано в 972 г.
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