Description Crosses mounted on a staff were prominent in Catholic religious processions in the Renaissance, as they were in the Middle Ages and continue to be. The same maker's mark from Zaragossa has been stamped into the metal multiple times. It appears to be identical to one in use in Zaragossa, Spain, between 1560-90 but it is not clear when the mark was first used. This cross exemplifies the combination of enameling and fine metalwork, the base of which suggests a church, that are consistent with an origin in a Zaragossa workshop in the later 15th and early 16th century. The gilded silver figures of Christ and especially of God the Father on the reverse are sensitively modeled and complemented by the surrounding enameled plaques. The front features the sorrowing Virgin and John the Evangelist with the Four Evangelists on the reverse. The supposed date of the marker's mark and the style of the components, especially the sculpted figures and the enamel work, are at odds. The possibilities appear to be: the city mark that seems identical with the stamp on the Walters' piece was used earlier than 1560, the stamp actually records an earlier city mark of which we are unaware, the stylistic analysis is incorrect, or possibly components of the cross were reassembled at a date long after the original creation and at that time various parts were stamped. There are some serious losses, but a thorough technical investigation and conservation treatment in 2012 brought back much of the original splendor.
This processional cross was the subject of a year-long study and conservation treatment funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, through an FAIC Kress Conservation Fellowship, from 2012-2013.
|6/01/2012||Examination||cleaned; coated; examined for condition; examined for technical study; loss compensation; mounted; other; x-ray florescence|
- Lost and Found: The Secrets of Archimedes. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2011-2012.
Provenance Acquired by Frédéric Spitzer, Paris; Spitzer Collection Sale, Paris, April 17-June 16 1893, no. 303. Purchased by Charles Davis, London. Purchased by Raoul Heilbronner, Paris; purchased by Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1909; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1909
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