*(John Ruskin’s joke.)

I found this ivory image of St. Paul, with its extraordinary elongated nose and crudely-rendered classical columns and mouldings in the background (the scallop shell is nicely made, but why the hole?).  It’s supposed to be 6th or 7th Century Byzantine — hence the crummy rendition of the streets of Rome, presumably —  and it’s kept at Cluny in the Musée national du Moyen Âge.

File:Saint-Paul.JPG

Except for the beard the face reminds me of Pete Townshend, but really the nose is so long he doesn’t look human at all.

More like a lion,  perhaps the cowardly lion of the Wizard of Oz .  But that lion has a very short nose:

cowardly-lion1.jpg

The lion in Cluny… sorry, I mean the image of St. Paul in Cluny, looks more like a real lion:

Perhaps this is the answer: the face just needs foreshortening, as I can do here using Photoshop…

That looks more human, though the Spock ears are still taking off.  I bet that’s it.  Who knows if it was elongated by accident or deliberately?  It seems like material for a Ph.D. thesis:  Spatial Manipulation In VIth-Century Byzantine Ivory Artifacts, anyone?

If anyone nose of another explanation, I’d love to hear it.

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