The Black Christ

Unknown author14th century

Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro

Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro
Coimbra, Portugal

This wood sculpture, portraying a larger than lifesize, elongated body of the crucified Christ, has a strong, archaic medieval character. Nevertheless, the elongation of the body contorted with pain conveys a Gothic sculptural feel to this piece. Moreover, the dramatic expression of the halfopen mouth and the dripping blood along the arms reflect a realistic sentiment associated with work from the Iberian Peninsula, although the expression of resignation is rather more Portuguese than Spanish. This Crucifix came from the Oratório das Donas in the Monastery of Santa Cruz.


  • Title: The Black Christ
  • Creator: Unknown author
  • Date Created: 14th century
  • Physical Location: Machado de Castro National Museum, Coimbra, Portugal
  • Physical Dimensions: 284.5 cm x 140 cm x 61 cm
  • Provenance: Santa Cruz Monastery in Coimbra
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Photo: DGPC/ADF - Photographic Documentation Archive
  • Medium: Wood

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