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Christ on the Cross between the two murders

Unknown1500

Bonnefantenmuseum

Bonnefantenmuseum
Maastricht, Netherlands

Christ on the cross between the two murderers on Calvary originally stood in the central corpus of a Passion retable that was once in the parish church of Aldenhoven, in Germany. The altarpiece that once contained the statues was badly damaged during World War II and fell apart. Some of the fragments then drifted apart and found their way to art dealers, for example. Via private collectors, some statues then ended up in museums. A pre-war photo of the still intact retable shows that Christ on the cross and the thieves were placed high up in the centre of the altarpiece. The city mark of Antwerp, a hand, is branded or stamped into the statues. The hand was put on woodcarvings to guarantee the patron and/or buyer of the quality of the materials used (wood and polychromy).

During restoration, the original expressive polychromy was revealed. A particularly fine decorative technique of gilding on the crossbar was discovered, which has survived especially well under Christ’s feet. The three statues give an idea of the careful method of applying shades of colour, such as for the bruises and welts on the legs of the two murderers.

Details

  • Title: Christ on the Cross between the two murders
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date: 1500
  • Location Created: Antwerp
  • Physical Dimensions: h. 49,5 cm
  • Provenance: Loan Limburgs Geschied- en Oudkundig Genootschap. © Etiënne C.L. van Sloun/Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht
  • Medium: Oak with traces of polychromy

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