Siege of the Castle of Love

Photo: Paul Macapia

Siege of the Castle of Love

ca. 1320-50

Love and conflict are inseparable in this masterfully carved ivory panel, which originally was the casing for a mirror owned by a wealthy woman. Horsemen enact a mock siege of the "castle of love" while smiling ladies pelt them with roses, the flower associated with love; one even welcomes a soldier who has scaled the battlement.

4 1/2 x 4 1/4 x 1/2 in. (11.43 x 10.8 x 1.27 cm)
Donald E. Frederick Memorial Collection
Photo: Paul Macapia
Not currently on view


Published ReferencesLee, Sherman E., "Two Medieval Ivories in the Seattle Art Museum," in The Art Quarterly, Spring 1949, pp. 191-193, illus. p. 188

"Handbook, Seattle Art Museum: Selected Works from the Permanent Collections." Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1951, p. 116 (b&w)

Joice, Gail, Michael Knight, and Pamela McClusky. "Ivories in the Collection of the Seattle Art Museum." Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1987, no. 12, p. 16

"Selected Works." Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1991, p. 85

"Seattle Art Museum: Bridging Cultures." London: Scala Publishers Ltd. for the Seattle Art Museum, 2007, p. 56

McClusky, Pamela. "The Art of War," A Community of Collectors, Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 2008, p. 138, illus. fig. 2.

Gothic Ivories Project (online scholarly database). Courtauld Institute of Art. Posted 2013.

Davies, Penelope J. E., et al. Janson's History of Art: the Western Tradition. Boston: Pearson, 2016. Reproduced p. 422.

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