English / The Cloisters Cross / 12th centuryEnglish
The Cloisters Cross
12th century

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Creator Nationality: European; British; English
Creator Name-CRT: English
Title: The Cloisters Cross
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1100
Creation End Date: 1199
Creation Date: 12th century
Object Type: Sculpture
Classification Term: Ivories
Materials and Techniques: walrus ivory
Dimensions: 22 5/8 x 14 1/4 in. (57.5 x 36.2 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 63.12
Credit Line: The Cloisters Collection, 1963
Rights: http://www.metmuseum.org/

A masterpiece of Romanesque art, this altar cross with some ninety-two figures and ninety-eight inscriptions is the vehicle for a unique iconographical program. The front displays typological scenes alluding to the Cross as the Tree of Life. The central medallions with Moses and the Brazen Serpent prefigure the Crucifixion. The terminals depict, the Deposition and Lamentation on the right, the Women at the Sepulcher and the Resurrection on the left, and the Ascension at the top. Below this last, Caiaphas and Pilate dispute the title to be assigned Christ in the inscription on the cross. Adam and Eve cling to the base of the cross, looking up at the figure of Christ, now missing. The richness of subjects, complexity of forms, and intellectual character suggest that the cross originated in a major center of learning; the English abbey of Bury St. Edmunds has often been suggested.

AMICA ID: MMA_.63.12
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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