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Relief - Christ showing his wound

Christ showing his wound

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Florence (made)

  • Date:

    1420-1425 (carved)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Painted terracotta, modelled in deep relief, with a flat back

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Medieval & Renaissance, Room 50a, The Paul and Jill Ruddock Gallery, case WN

This figure has been tentatively identified as the figure of Christ once situated over the now-destroyed small doorway leading into the Chiostro delle Ossa, next to the Church of Sant' Egidio within the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence. Christ’s wounds were a focus for devotion. His side wound was especially venerated, and in prayers it was evoked as a refuge for sinners. The hole in the chest of the figure may have housed a relic.

Physical description

This deep relief figure of Christ is shown in three-quarter length, gazing downwards to his right. He wears the crown of thorns, and is showing his wound. A figure of Christ, naked except for a loin cloth cut off just above the knees and holding open the wound in his side with both hands. The crown of thorns rests on his hair which falls in long curls over his shoulders. In the centre of the chest is a circular cavity which was found to be filled with sand and in which was a thorn. Traces of original paint. The figure is modelled in half relief, the back being flat and the lower part of the drapery and the top of the beard are left rough.

Place of Origin

Florence (made)


1420-1425 (carved)



Materials and Techniques

Painted terracotta, modelled in deep relief, with a flat back


Height: 104.1 cm, Width: 61.8 cm, Depth: 23.2 cm, Weight: 64 kg

Object history note

This figure originally came from the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova, Florence. It was in the lunette of a doorway, and is shown in its original position in a fresco of 1428 by Bicci di Lorenzo; the fresco is still in the Florentine hospital.

Descriptive line

Relief, 'Christ showing his wound', terracotta, 1420-1424, Italian

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Raggio, Olga. 'Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum' in Art Bulletin Vol. L. 1968. pp. 100.
p. 26
Motture, P., Jones, E. and Zikos, D., ed. by, Carvings, Casts and Collectors: The Art of Renaissance Sculpture, London, 2013
Pope-Hennessy, John. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Her Majesty's Stationary Office, 1964. pp.64-5
Borngässer, B. 'Die Apsisdekoration der alten Kathedral zu Salamanca' Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz. Vol. XXXI, 2/3, 1987, p.276, illus. p. 269
Gentilini, Giancarlo, I della Robbia, La Scultura Invetriata nel Rinascimento. Florence, 1992, p.31, p.153, note 39.
Seymour, Charles Jnr. Sculpture in Italy 1400-1500 (The Pelican History of Art) Harmondsworth, 1966, p.65
Middeldorf, Ulrich 'Some Florentine Painted Madonna Reliefs', in Steelman Sheard, Wendy and Paoletti, John T (ed.)Collaboration in Italian Renaissance Art. New Haven and London, 1978, pp.77, 82, note 8.
Dolcini, Loretta, Verrocchio's Christ and St. Thomas: a masterpiece of sculpture from Renaissance Florence, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992






Sculpture; Christianity


Sculpture Collection

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