French / Chasse: The Crucifixion and Christ in Majesty / ca. 1180-90French
Chasse: The Crucifixion and Christ in Majesty
ca. 1180-90

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Creator Nationality: European; French
Creator Name-CRT: French
Title: Chasse: The Crucifixion and Christ in Majesty
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1180
Creation End Date: 1190
Creation Date: ca. 1180-90
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Enamels-Champlevé
Materials and Techniques: Copper: engraved, chiseled, stippled, and gilt; champlevé enamel: dark, medium, and light blue; turquoise, dark and light green, yellow, red, and white; wood core, painted red on exterior
Dimensions: 10 5/16 x 11 7/8 x 4 9/16 in. (26.2 x 30.2 x 11.6 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 17.190.514
Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

The rectangular, boxlike shape of the medieval chasse is an adaptation of the sarcophagus shape, ultimately deriving from the Early Christian tradition of honoring saints at their burial sites. The word "chasse" is derived from the Latin "capsa" (coffin), and it has come to refer to an enclosed shrine with a pyramid-shaped roof. Such reliquaries were often placed on altars, where the devout could venerate the relic held inside. In keeping with twelfth-century tradition, this chasse, which once served as a portable container for the relics of revered saints, is decorated with gables and finials to echo the shape of a church. In the view shown here, the Crucifixion is represented flanked by images of the sun and moon, with rows of the apostles standing beneath a series of arcades. The richness of the decoration is enhanced by the background scroll-like patterns called "vermiculé." Their name literally adopted from a Latin term suggestive of worm shapes or movement, these twisting, incised lines provide a foil for the figures, whose massive feet and hands stand in stark contrast to their tiny copper-gilt heads. The reverse of the chasse has an overall pattern of quatrefoils enclosed in circles, a motif frequently found on vermiculé chasses.

AMICA ID: MMA_.17.190.514
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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