May 16, 2012

Crucified Christ

Crucified Christ

late 1300s

Painted and gilded wood (poplar)

Overall: 211 x 154.9 x 32.2 cm (83 1/16 x 61 x 12 11/16 in.)

Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1968.33


This carved wooden corpus of Christ was covered with a layer of linen and painted with vivid colors. Given its large scale it would have been intended for display in a church. Most likely it was suspended high over an altar facing the choir.

During the Middle Ages, a monumental cross was often hung above the altar, and a smaller cross placed upon it. While not required by the liturgy, these crosses were visible symbols of the subject and focus of the Mass. The style of the corpus would suggest it comes from Navarre in northeast Spain.

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