Diptych with the two Maries at the Holy Sepulchre

Workshop in RomeEnd of 4th century, beginning of 5th century

Sforzesco Castle

Sforzesco Castle
Milan, Italy

The tablet has a markedly vertical layout and is divided into two scenes: above, two guards sleep opposite the entrance to the Holy Sepulchre, identifiable by its characteristic round shape; below, two Pious Women kneel in front of a figure with a halo, probably the newly resurrected Christ. The scene takes place in front of the open door of the Sepulchre on which are carved some reliefs, among which can be distinguished the Resurrection of Lazarus. At the corners of the upper part are the zoomorphic symbols of the evangelists Luke and Matthew, which would probably have matched those of the other two, on another tablet which would have completed the diptych. On the inner part of the valve is a series of names, written in a Late Antique script, difficult to read, undoubtedly connected to an ancient place of conservation, where the tablet was used in the context of ecclesiastical celebrations.
The piece is well known for its high stylistic quality, visible in the softness of the carving, and for the iconographic solutions, very innovative for its time (it is one of the oldest known depictions of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem).


  • Title: Diptych with the two Maries at the Holy Sepulchre
  • Creator: Workshop in Rome
  • Date Created: End of 4th century, beginning of 5th century
  • Location: Castello Sforzesco, Raccolte d’arte applicata, inv. Avori 9; Milan
  • Location Created: Rome (?)
  • Physical Dimensions: H. 30 x L. 13,4 cm
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Comune di Milano - Civiche Raccolte Artistiche, Castello Sforzesco, Milano
  • External Link: https://artidecorative.milanocastello.it/
  • Medium: Carved ivory
  • Art Movement: Sculpture
  • Art Form: Sculpture
  • Depicted Location: Gerusalemme, Santo Sepolcro
  • Depicted Person: Gesù; Pie Donne; Marie
  • Depicted Topic: Annuncio della Resurrezione di Gesù
  • Original title: Dittico con Le Marie al Sepolcro

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps