40 IVORY AND THE ELEPHANT
Bishop of Rheims, had the works of St. Jerome enclosed in covers
adorned with ivory tablets in a gold setting, and he also had a
lectionary provided with covers of ivory set in silver.*
ivory plaques in the Musée de Cluny are specimens of the Byzantine art
of the ninth century and are especially noteworthy in that in each case
while one side bears a distinctly religious decoration, the other side
offers secular designs, including figured symbols of four of the
zodiacal signs (two on each plaque) Capricornus, Sagittarius,
Aquarius, and Leo. Rich foliage work and scrollwork combine to make a
very harmonious design, indicating the possession of both taste and
skill by the artist.
hieratic art of the ninth century is well illustrated in a
representation of the Crucifixion on the cover of an evangelium in the
Musée de Cluny, uncompromisingly rigid in composition; the absolute
symmetry of the grouping is as far removed as possible from the ease
and grace characterizing the best works of an earlier and a later
period, and yet we may not deny the genuine religious spirit in which
the medieval artist has wrought.
few ivory statuettes were made by the carvers of the Eastern Empire,
this being due in great part to the general influence of iconoclastic
ideas in the Empire, even when these were not drastically enforced as
was from time to time the case. Intense as was the opposition between
Christian and Moslem in the East, it appears likely that the Christian
image-breakers drew their inspiration from the rigid ideas regarding
images and the reverencing of images that were so strongly held by the
Mohammedans. In a not dissimilar way, the Protestant image-breakers of
Labarte, "Histoire des arts industriels au Moyen Age et à l'époque de
la Renaissance," Vol. I, Paris, 1864, p. 213: Citing Anonymi Gesta
episcop. Cameracensium, lib. 1, 42, apud. Pertz, "Mon. Germaniae
hist.," Vol. IX, p. 416, and Flodoardi, "Eccl. Eemensis hist.," lib.
ΙΠ, cap. 5, Paris, 1611, pp. 159,160.