Barberini ivory, Leaf of imperial diptych: The Emperor Triumphant
Barberini ivory, imperial diptych
Barberini ivory, Byzantine ivory leaf of an imperial diptych: The Emperor Triumphant. Constantinople (first half of the 6th century). Diptych panel in five parts: the Emperor Triumphant (Justinian?). Ivory, traces of inlay. H. 34.20 cm; W. 26.80 cm; D. 2.80 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris, France. Image: "Diptych Barberini Louvre OA9063 whole" by Marie-Lan Nguyen.

"This is the only near-complete leaf of an imperial diptych to have come down to us. Its central section portrays the Emperor Anastasius (491-518) or, more likely, Justinian (527-565) in triumph, and its upper part, the glorification of Christ. The leaves were composed of five separate elements. Here only the right-hand plaque is missing: like the others it was held in place around the central plaque by a tongue and groove system that made possible the considerable width of the leaf as a whole.

... Barberini Ivory can be attributed to the Constantinople workshops of the second quarter of the sixth century. This would thus seem to be a triumphal portrait of Justinian who, in 532, signed a "peace treaty" with the Persians." (© Musée du Louvre)

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