Unknown18th-19th century

Museum Of Christian Art, Goa

Museum Of Christian Art, Goa
Old Goa, India

This small crucifix was meant to be carried in hand or suspended in an oratory. The cross is entirely covered in silver. Its shaft and arms are decorated with coiling leaf decoration that alternates with European influenced open and closed stylized flowers. At the top of the flowing composition is a tablet on which the Indian artist, unfamiliar with the Latin alphabet, meant to inscribe INRI. The tips of the shaft and arms are adorned with a three-part floral composition.
The image of Christ is made of ivory, with the face inclined to the right and a fairly realistic depiction of features and anatomy, while the treatment of the hair emphasizes the head’s movement. The loincloth is decorated with saw-toothed pattern motifs and has a flowing movement, which suggests that the image dates from the 18th century. The halo around the body is made of silver and takes the form of an ovoid mandorla; undulating rays alternate with smooth ones, while the outline is done in a pearl motif (a common decoration in Indo-Portuguese ivory images).


  • Title: Crucifix
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 18th-19th century
  • Physical Dimensions: 31 x 18 x 4 cm
  • Provenance: Donation of the Gama Pinto family, Anjuna
  • Medium: Sculpture, Ivory; silver; Indian rosewood

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