The Stavelot Reliquary

Circa 1156
Champlevé and cloisonné on copper gilt
Morgan Library, New York

The central panel contains two smaller triptychs, one above the other. The lower of these, which is larger, is divided into four quadrants by two slivers of wood. The upper left quadrant has the head and upper torso of a female saint with the Greek inscription B¯P The upper right quadrant has the head and upper torso of a male saint and the inscription M¯IF. Constantine stands in the lower left quadrant, and Helena in the lower right. An X shape, with pearls at each of the four ends, links the four quadrants.

The upper, smaller triptych shows the crucifixion, with Mary on the left and John on the right. On the left and right of the upper part of the cross are the sun and moon. The Greek inscription with John is IAOVH–MERCOV.

The opened side panels use three medallions each for the story of Constantine's conversion (on the left) and St. Helena's discovery of the True Cross (on the right). For commentaries on each of the medallions, please follow these links:

Read more about images of St. Helena.

Source: this page at Wikimedia Commons.