Ivory Plaque with the Dormition of the Virgin
Byzantine, 10th century
The Virgin is shown lying on a funeral bier with her arms crossed on her chest. Behind her, Christ holds Marys soul wrapped in swaddled cloth. He is depicted frontally at the center, looking toward the viewer. The apostles, with their heads bent, are grouped on both sides of the bier. Interestingly, the angel in the upper left is depicted descending with a veil to receive Marys soul, while in the upper right he is shown carrying it up to heaven.
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