IX-A. Byzantine Luxury Arts

IX-1 Byzantine Ivory Casket with Labors of Hercules

Walters Art Museum, Baltimore

10th-11th century AD

Byzantine box made out of small pieces of ivory with various scenes. Center-right is a scene of Herakles fighting the lion.

Detail: Hercules fighting the Nemean Lion.

Detail: Hercules and shooting the Stymphalian Birds?

IX-2 The Veroli Casket

Veroli casket. Box made of pieces of ivory, probably in Constantinople, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Second half 10th century AD

Left side of the lid. A long piece of ivory carved with figures is surrounded by smaller pieces decorated with rosettes that form a frame. There are two women leaning or running forward with outstretched hands, gesturing toward the next figures.They are a woman and a bull. She sits on his back, one hand holding the veil that arches over her head, the other clasping the bull's horn. In front of this group are six men leaning toward them and hurling stones. Behind the men cupids cavort in the air. A bearded man (King David the psalm writer? Orpheus?) plays a musical instrument, looking over his shoulder. Several centaurs complete the part to be seen here.