Royall Tyler to Robert Woods Bliss, May 1, 1939 [1]

Geneva 1.V.39

Dear Robert.

As F. thinks we may be nearing a conclusion about the ivories: Gotha, the Luneberg-Dresden diptych, & the Dresden two-saint ivory, it occurs to me that Vienna is now within the Reich, and that the two-saint ivory there,Andrew and Peter, ivory, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, no. 26736. which is certainly by the same hand as the Dresden two-saint panel, might also be had. You might have a look at it in GogoAdolph Goldschmidt (1863–1944), a Jewish German art historian. Tyler's nickname for him was Gogo. & Weitzmann,Adolph Goldschmidt and Kurt Weitzmann, Die byzantinischen Elfenbeinskulpturen des X.–XIII. Jahrhunderts, vol. 2, Reliefs (Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1934), no. 44, pp. 38–39, pl. 19. & let me know if you’d like to try for it. There’s only one other like those two: in Venice.John the Evangelist and Paul, ivory, Museo Archeologico, Venice. Adolph Goldschmidt and Kurt Weitzmann, Die byzantinischen Elfenbeinskulpturen des X.–XIII. Jahrhunderts, vol. 2, Reliefs (Berlin: Bruno Cassirer, 1934), no. 43, p. 38, pl. 19.

Vienna also has a fine steatite carving of the KoimesisIcon with the Koimesis, Byzantine, second half of the tenth century, steatite partially gilt, Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kunstkammer, Vienna, inv. no. 8797. See The Glory of Byzantium: Art and Culture of the Middle Byzantine Era, AD 843–1261 (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997), 155–56, no. 102. (Dormition of the B.VBlessed Virgin.). It’s reproduced in our little 1926 book,Byzantine Art. I think. Perhaps that too?

There are superb painted MSS in Vienna—but so far the attitude as to things in the Libraries has been negative. Curious, when the museums, which one would think would attract more attention. . . .

Please let me have a line, as soon as possible, indicating your views on the above. Who knows, the Libraries’ turn may come too. And the Churches. One remembers Limburg. And Aachen. And Deutz.

Yrs

R. T.

Please let me know immediately you get the receipts from F.

 
Associated People: Hermann Fiedler
Associated Places: Vienna [Wien] (Austria)
Associated Things: L'art byzantin