Ivory Pyxis

A fifth- or sixth-century ivory pyxis (medicine box) depicting scenes from Jesus’s life, including the woman taken in adultery. Musée de Cluny, Paris.

A pyxis is any round lidded box. They were commonly used in church services but were often given to women as wedding gifts to hold cosmetics or medicines. This Egyptian ivory pyxis depicts the Samaritan Woman at the Well along with the Woman Caught in Adultery—both stories from the Gospel of John.


A fifth- or sixth-century ivory pyxis (medicine box) depicting scenes from Jesus’s life, including the woman taken in adultery. Musée de Cluny, Paris.

A gospel is an account that describes the life of Jesus of Nazareth.

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