Exh. Cats. by Gallery

Medieval Ivories and Works of Art in the Thomson Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario

128 pages, jacketed paperback, 280 x 240 mm, 80 illustrations
PRICE: £25.00
ISBN: 978 1 903470 80 0



By John Lowden and John Cherry

The Thomson collection contains examples of the highest quality of most types of medieval ivory carving, both secular and religious. These include large statuettes of the Virgin and Child intended to stand on altars in chapels, small versions for private use in the home and folding tablets or diptychs with scenes from the life of Christ carved in relief. Alongside these are beautiful small carved writing tablets, boxes and caskets, combs, hair parters, mirror cases with scenes of romantic encounters between elegant young men and women, and a rare set of carving and serving knives with fabulous beasts decorating the ivory handles. A highlight of the collection is the magnificent Dormeuil Diptych of the Passion of Christ. Other significant medieval works include examples of stained glass, woodwork and metalwork, notably the 12th-century Malmesbury reliquary casket.

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Until recently, the Dutch draughtsman Johannes Thopas, who was born in 1626 both deaf and dumb, was only known to a small group of connoisseurs, dealers and collectors. However, his remarkable, subtle and technically refined portrait drawings on parchment deserve a wider audience. This handsome publication, the first devoted to his work, will prove to be an eye opener for many art lovers. More

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