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The Crucifixion with Symbols of the Evangelists

Date:
ca. 1100
Geography:
Made in Conques, France
Culture:
French
Medium:
Champlevé and cloisonné enamel on gilded copper
Dimensions:
17.190.426 (bottom left): 4 x 2 7/16 x 1/8in. (10.1 x 6.2 x 0.3cm) 17.190.427 (top left): 4 1/8 x 2 3/8 x 1/8in. (10.4 x 6.1 x 0.3cm) 17.190.428 (bottom right): 4 x 2 7/16 x 1/8in. (10.1 x 6.2 x 0.3cm) 17.190.429 (top right): 4 x 2 3/8 x 1/8in. (10.1 x 6.1 x 0.3cm) 2007.189 (center): 4 1/16 x 1/8 in. (10.3 x 0.3 cm)
Classification:
Enamels-Champlevé & Cloisonné
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917; Purchase, Michel David-Weill Gift and 2006 Benefit Fund, 2007
Accession Number:
17.190.426–.429; 2007.189
  • Description

    This ensemble, probably from a book cover, can be securely attributed to the celebrated pilgrimage abbey of Conques, France’s richest surviving repository of medieval goldsmiths’ work. Among the rare works dispersed from its treasury in the nineteenth century, several share a distinctive technique, style, and palette uniquely combined during the abbacy of Bégon III in the late eleventh century. The monkgoldsmiths have here superimposed copper plaques, the lower one set with cloisons (wires) that define features and drapery, and the upper one cut to define the silhouettes of the figures and the cross. Scientific analysis has confirmed that these works share common enamel compositions (including the unusual ox-blood color used for the symbol of Saint Luke and the hair of the image of the Sun [“Sol”] above the Crucifixion) and the same metallic oxides in their opacifying and tinting.
    [See individual object records for provenance information]

  • See also
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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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