Reliquary Cross, ca. 1366–1400
Italian, the Marches
Translucent enamel, silver, gilded silver, rock crystal, glass, and iron; 29 1/4 x 16 1/2 in. (74.3 x 41.9 cm)
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.498)
The convex rock crystal at the center once sheltered and magnified a fragment of wood believed to be from the cross on which Jesus was crucified. The whole is sumptuously decorated with images of the life of Jesus on one side, and of saints linked to Saint Francis on the other. Many Franciscan communities in Italy commissioned works of art using translucent enamel, which shimmers like stained glass.