Head of Christ

Artist: Master of the Orcagnesque Misericordia (Italian, Florence, active second half 14th century)

Medium: Tempera on wood, gold ground

Dimensions: Overall, with engaged frame, 11 5/8 x 8 1/8 in. (29.5 x 20.6 cm); painted surface 9 5/8 x 6 1/8 in. (24.4 x 15.6 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of The Jack and Belle Linsky Foundation, 1981

Accession Number: 1981.365.2


This hypnotic panel, painted front and back and with its original frame, shows two angels holding the cloth on which Christ's head was miraculously imprinted (Veronica's veil). The inscription on Christ's collar suggests that it may have been used during the Mass as a pax to pass the kiss of peace. This Master was a gifted follower of Orcagna, the greatest Florentine painter of the mid-fourteenth century.