Crucifix

Date: ca. 1150–1200

Geography: Made in Castile-León, Spain

Culture: Spanish

Medium: White oak with paint, gold leaf, and tin leaf (corpus); softwood with paint and tin leaf (cross)

Dimensions: Overall (cross): 102 1/2 x 81 3/4 in. (260.4 x 207.6 cm)
Head: 10 1/4 x 4 in. (26 x 10.2 cm)
Span of right arm: 25 3/8 in. (64.4 cm)
Span of left arm: 26 5/16 in. (66.8 cm)
Right foot–heel to small toe: 3 3/4 in. (9.5 cm)
Right foot–heel to big toe: 9 1/8 in. (23.2 cm)
Left foot–heel to small toe: 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm)
Left foot–heel to big toe: 9 in. (22.8 cm)

Classification: Sculpture-Wood

Credit Line: Samuel D. Lee Fund, 1935

Accession Number: 35.36a, b

Description

This majestic over-lifesize crucifix expresses simultaneously the human and divine natures of Christ. While later images of the Crucifixion emphasize Christ's agony, here his gold crown and composed expression give little hint of pain and suffering; rather, they imply his triumph over death. The symmetrical body and stylized carving of the rib cage convey a sense of calm detachment. The figure was covered with layers of gesso and paint. A considerable amount of polychromy remains, especially on Christ's face and black braided hair. The cross originally hung high up in the church, towering over the worshippers.

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