Plaque with Jesus’ Entry into Jerusalem, 900–925 (Ottonian) Front and Back
Size: 16x20 inches
Substrate: Premium Matte, thick
Product Notes: Currently on view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304
Probably part of a large narrative cycle of the life of Jesus, this ivory shows his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This incident, in which the populace hailed him as king with palm branches and cloaks, launches the sequence of events that led to the Crucifixion.
Ottonian art is a style in pre-romanesque German art, covering also some works from the Low Countries, northern Italy and eastern France. It was named by the art historian Hubert Janitschek after the Ottonian dynasty which ruled Germany and northern Italy between 919 and 1024 under the kings Henry I, Otto I, Otto II, Otto III and Henry II. With Ottonian architecture, it is a key component of the Ottonian Renaissance (circa 951–1024). However, the style neither began nor ended to neatly coincide with the rule of the dynasty. It emerged some decades into their rule and persisted past the Ottonian emperors into the reigns of the early Salian dynasty, which lacks an artistic "style label" of its own. In the traditional scheme of art history, Ottonian art follows Carolingian art and precedes Romanesque art, though the transitions at both ends of the period are gradual rather than sudden. Like the former and unlike the latter, it was very largely a style restricted to a few of the small cities of the period, and important monasteries