A Byzantine vision of Paradise — The Harbaville Triptych


 

Harbaville Triptych, mid-10th century, Constantinople, ivory with traces of polychromy, 28.2 x 24.2 x 1.2 cm (Musée du Louvre)  A conversation with Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker.



For the classroom

Questions for study or discussion

Thinking about context

  • How was this triptych used?

Thinking about this object

  • What materials and techniques were used to create this triptych?
  • What role do materials and techniques play in the triptych’s appearance?
  • What role do materials and techniques play in the viewer’s experience of the triptych?

Thinking about iconography

  • What does the Deësis scene depict?
  • How do the figures in the Deësis scene relate to each other with their body language?
  • What else is depicted on this triptych?
  • What does this imagery suggest about the triptych’s owner and broader social setting?
  • What role does nature play in the imagery on this triptych?

Thinking about art history

  • How can we understand this triptych against the background of the Iconoclastic Controversy and the broader history of art?

Additional resources

Smarthistory’s free Guide to Byzantine Art e-book
Smarthistory images for teaching and learning:

More Smarthistory images…

 

Cite this page as: Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker, "A Byzantine vision of Paradise — The Harbaville Triptych," in Smarthistory, December 15, 2020, accessed October 18, 2021, https://smarthistory.org/a-byzantine-vision-of-paradise-the-harbaville-triptych/.