: before 1500
Diptych: The Entry into Jerusalem. The Last Supper. The Footbath. Gethsemane Garden. Madonna and Child. The Crucifixion, 15th century
Ivory. Oil paint and gilding. 15,1 x 8,2 cm
Thorvaldsen’s private book collection contains an edition of the Bible from 1541. It is Martin Luther’s first complete translation of the Bible into German. Thorvaldsen also possessed various religious paintings and objects. One example is this small portable altar in ivory from the first half of the 15th century. The inscription says that this altar was once part of the inventory of the Bridgetine convent in Vadstena in Sweden. The convent was taken and plundered in 1568 by Danish troops. But where and how Thorvaldsen acquired the altarpiece is unknown. Four scenes from Christ’s last days can be seen carved on the insides of the altarpiece. Mary with the Child and the Crucified Christ can be seen painted and partly gilded on the backs.