This ivory plaque depicts Mary, Joseph, and one of his sons from a previous wife on their way to Bethlehem. The scene is set within an architectural frame that combines Byzantine decorative elements (such as the acanthus leaf column capitals) with Islamic architectural motifs (most notably, the distinctively rounded arches). The blending of Byzantine, Islamic, and Western iconographic elements and decorative motifs is typical for the art produced in the city of Amalfi, a prosperous merchant town near Naples in South Italy.
Plaque: The Journey to Bethlehem
South Italy, Amalfi, Romanesque period, 12th century
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