Christ Blessing Emperor Otto II and Empress Theophano

Christ Blessing Emperor Otto II and Empress Theophano

Date 982-983

Movement Early Medieval | Ottonian

Medium Ivory

Dimensions 7.125 x 4″

Housed at Musée du Moyen Âge (Cluny), Paris

 

Early Ottonian art appears to be a mere continuation of the Carolingian style; however, later rulers sought to incorporate Byzantine themes. This ivory, for example, looks nearly identical to that of Christ Crowning Romanos and Eudokia, with the same composition and matching, geometric pattern work of garments. Some scholars believe this to be the work of a Greek sculptor, given the Greek and Latin characters in the inscription, while others believe it to have come from Ottonian Italy, noting that the patron (the bishop in the lower left corner) was Italian himself.