50 IVORY AND THE ELEPHANT
in the Temple. The execution is lifelike and effective, without any
striving after effect. More archaic and perhaps even more devotional,
although artistically less successful, is a thirteenth century diptych,
also of the French School, where the six relief carvings, three on each
leaf, give in succession, the Entry into Jerusalem, the Washing of
Feet, the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Betrayal by Judas,
and the Crucifixion. In marked contrast to the sobriety of this work is
a French diptych of the fourteenth century in which the
representations are much more likelife and dramatic, but less deeply
imbued with a purely religious spirit; there are here but four designs,
the Entry into Jerusalem, the Last Supper, the Betrayal, and the
Crucifixion, but the carver has been strikingly successful in the
grouping of the figures and in their individual attitude and bearing.
The masterly execution and the dramatic intensity of these compositions
would lead us to suppose that this diptych belongs to the very end of
the fourteenth century.
peerless Morgan Collection embraces among its other treasures of
medieval art a remarkable ivory polyptych, of four leaves, carved with
a series of representations of the Passion, the work being done in a
manner characteristic of Gothic art in ivory carving at its very best.
Each of the sad scenes, eight in number, is feelingly depicted,
sometimes but three figures entering into the composition, while in
others as many as eight are not unskilfully crowded into the narrow
compass of the panel. All the carvings are animated by the earnestly
religious spirit of the Early Renaissance, to which period this
valuable and interesting work belongs.
Coronation of the Virgin, in the Louvre Museum, has long ranked as one
of the most important productions of the French carvers of the
thirteenth century. While it is impossible to deny that the composition
is rather rigid in outline and lacks the beauty of some later works of