Christ nailed to the Cross

Panel
15th century (made)
Christ nailed to the Cross thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

There is only one other recorded example of this subject in English alabaster although the subject features in fifteenth century woodcuts.

Christ is shown on the cross which lies obliquely on the panel. His arms are outstretched while nails are hammered through his hands by two figures behind the cross wearing gowns. A bearded figure at the bottom left of the panel is represented pulling a rope over his right shoulder. It has been suggested that the presence of ropes in the image may be directly influenced by the practical problems of showing the Crucifixion realistically on the medieval stage.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Carved, painted and gilt alabaster
Brief Description
Alabaster panel depicting Christ nailed to the Cross. English, 15th century.
Physical Description
Christ, bearded and wearing the torse, naked but for a loincloth, is shown on the cross, which is not yet raised and lies obliquely on the panel. His arms are outstretched while nails are hammered through his hands by two figures behind the cross wearing gowns, the right-hand figure kneeling on one knee. A bearded figure at the top left of the panel, wearing a tunic, is represented pulling a rope over his right shoulder, as is a figure on the lower right. A figure on the lower left appears to be holding a hammer.



The whole of the lower part of the panel is missing. The head and right arm of the figure at the top right of the panel are missing, as is the leg of the figure at the top left. The top of the panel behind the figures has been restored with plaster. The face of Christ is worn.



The executioners' faces are darkened in the customary way. A considerable amount of the usual green paint and daisy pattern remain on the ground and also on the cross. The background at the top of the panel is decorated with gesso knobs and gilded. The panel has been backed with slate.
Dimensions
  • Height: 35cm
  • Width: 25.9cm
Style
Credit line
Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh FSA
Object history
Formerly in the collection of Count P. Biver. In the possession of P. Nelson from whom it was acquired by Dr W.L. Hildburgh. On loan from him since 1926. Given by Dr Hildburgh in 1946.



Historical significance: There is only one other recorded example of this subject in English alabaster, a panel which forms part of a Passion altarpiece in the church at Afferden, Holland. The subject is however shown in 15th-century woodcuts.
Subjects depicted
Summary
There is only one other recorded example of this subject in English alabaster although the subject features in fifteenth century woodcuts.



Christ is shown on the cross which lies obliquely on the panel. His arms are outstretched while nails are hammered through his hands by two figures behind the cross wearing gowns. A bearded figure at the bottom left of the panel is represented pulling a rope over his right shoulder. It has been suggested that the presence of ropes in the image may be directly influenced by the practical problems of showing the Crucifixion realistically on the medieval stage.
Bibliographic References
  • Cheetham, Francis. English Medieval Alabasters. Oxford: Phaidon-Christie's Limited, 1984. p. 243 (cat. 170), ill. ISBN 0-7148-8014-0
  • English Medieval Alabaster Carvings : York Festival Exhibition. York : City of York Art Gallery, 1954no.28
Collection
Accession Number
A.103-1946

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record createdNovember 19, 2002
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