Central Plaque of a Cross

Date: ca. 1185–95

Geography: Made in Limoges, France

Culture: French

Medium: Copper: engraved, stippled, gilt; champlevé enamel: dark and light blue, translucent dark and opaque medium green, yellow, translucent and opaque red, rose, and white

Dimensions: Overall: 14 3/4 x 11 3/4 x 3/4 in. (37.4 x 29.8 x 1.9 cm)

Classification: Enamels-Champlevé

Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Accession Number: 17.190.409a


Although its provenance is unknown, this plaque from a cross is closely allied in style, palette, and execution to works created especially for the Abbey of Grandmont, its dependencies, and religious communities with patrons in common. The rose-colored face of Christ, his chalk-white torso with fine lines of gilded copper that articulate the interior and exterior lines of his body, and the knee-length deep-blue loincloth link the cross to a small number of others associated with Grandmontain communities. The abbey of Grandmont was an important client of the enameling workshops in nearby Limoges during the second half of the twelfth century, its wealth due in part to the patronage of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.