The Crucified Christ
Spanish Possibly from Aragonese Pyrenees, The Crucified Christ, ca. 1150-1200, Oak with traces of polychrome; 215.9 x 215.9 cm (85 x 85 inches), Museum Special Reserve Fund 43.195
This figure of the crucified Christ was originally attached to a cross and suspended above a church altar, where it was visible to all during the celebration of Mass. Christ’s body appears upright with arms outstretched, as if in resurrection, in contrast to representations that depict him sagging from suspended weight. Instead of conveying suffering, his gaze expresses acceptance. The carved sculpture was originally painted in lifelike colors, traces of which remain in the wound below Christ’s ribs. Other details are more abstract, such as the patterns of parallel incisions that define his hair and beard, and the rhythmic folds of the knotted loincloth that is wrapped around his lower torso.