Standing behind the bed in which Joseph is lying, an angel with wings outstretched, is signing to him with the right hand. Joseph, stretched out in his bed, under a cover with round folds, turns his face towards him. This scene which is taken from the gospel of saint Matthew, recalls the moment when the angel appeared in a dream to Joseph, informing him that Mary, his wife, had conceived a child of the Holy Spirit, who would be called Jesus and would save his people from sin.
This plate was manufactured in southern Italy, in the Salerno region, at the end of the 11th century. It is very similar to one of the plates which make up the "palliotto", probably created in 1084, for the inauguration of the cathedral of Salerno for the Norman duke Robert Guiscard. It is known that there were workshops in Campania, worked on the sequel to the "palliotto" and imitated it. The production of the relief in the Musée de Rouen most probably came from one of these.
Dimensions of the object
H. 15.6 cm ; w. 10.7 cm
- Goldschmidt (A.) : Die Elfenbeinskulpturen aus der Zeit der Karolingischen und Sachsischen Kaiser, t. IV, n°. 132, pl. XLIX, 1926
Musée départemental des Antiquités de Rouen, Seine-Maritime
Yohann Deslandes, Musée des Antiquités de Rouen