Sometimes a picture says what words cannot and makes connections we are in danger of forgetting.
This two-panel ivory relief carving (from the tenth century, Byzantine) depicts the Crucifixion and Ascension of Christ. In the Crucifixion, the sun and moon and Stephaton and Longinus are reversed from their usual positions. Longinus carries a sword rather than a spear. The style is related to the Nicephoros Group. The figures in the ascension stand upright, looking upwards towards Christ, who sits in a mandorla carried by two angels. The bottom border and parts of figures in the Crucifixion scene are broken off, as are the left border and upper left corner. There are several pinholes in the upper border and ground. ‘AVE MARIA’ has been scratched on the back and there is the impression of a seventeenth-century seal.
From the Walters Art Gallery and made available under Creative Commons Licence.