Reliquary Crucifix

North Spanish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 304

Two cavities in Christ’s back originally held relics. The exquisite niello decoration, a black inlay containing sulfides of silver, copper, and lead, relate the cross to other goldsmiths’ work made in northern Spain. Whether it functioned as an altar or a processional cross or both is uncertain. The abbreviated Latin inscription identifies Christ as “Jesus of Nazarus, King of the Jews.”

Reliquary Crucifix, Cross-silver, silver-gilt, niello; Corpus-Ivory, gilding, North Spanish

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