May 16, 2006
May 16, 2006

Processional Cross

Processional Cross

c. 1440–1450

Pietro Vannini

(Italian, 1413/14–1495/96)

Silver, gilt-silver, and repoussé, over wood

Overall: 72.7 x 61 x 12.7 cm (28 5/8 x 24 x 5 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1926.243


This remarkable object, meant to be carried in religious processions within a great church, is an example of the high level of skill achieved by 15th-century Italian silversmiths. The cross was made from hammered, chased, and gilded sheets of silver attached to a wooden core. The figures are made in repoussé, a technique of hammering the silver from beneath to create a design. On the front of the cross is the figure of Christ flanked by the seated Virgin and Saint John, with God the Father blessing from above. The back of the cross includes the figure of Christ in Majesty at the center, with the Evangelists at the end of each arm.


A Processional Cross
Figures on the Cross
How It Was Made
Processional Crosses Today
See also

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