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Processional or Altar Cross from the Abbey of Grandmont
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Processional or Altar Cross from the Abbey of Grandmont


Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description On this cross, Christ is shown as emaciated and suffering with bright red enamel wounds and red-rimmed eyes. The light blue censers (incense burners) seen below Christ's hands likely swung in the hands of angels (now lost from the ends of the cross) as shown in another cross fragment, Walters 44. 646. Adam's skull at the bottom of the cross and below Christ's feet symbolizes the redemption of mankind through the Crucifixion. The use of vivid and varied colors, especially white and red enamels, combined with technical details such as the delicate gilded metal outlines that shimmer with stippling (dotting), identify this cross as the work of craftsmen active at Grandmont Abbey, near Limoges, in central France.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
10/31/1983Treatmentcleaned; examined for loan
Exhibitions
  • The Year 1200. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 1970.
  • In Quest of Excellence: Civic Pride, Patronage, Connoisseurship. Center for the Fine Arts, Miami. 1984.
  • Vive la France! French Treasures from the Middle Ages to Monet. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1999-2000.
Provenance Prince Alexis Dmitrievitch Saltykoff (Aleksei Dmitrievich Saltykov), by purchase; Alexei Alexandrovitch Saltykoff-Golovkin (Aleksei Aleksandrovich Saltykov-Golovkin), 1858, by inheritance; Sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, April 8, 1861, no. 96; Frédéric Spitzer, Paris, by purchase; Sale, Paul Chevallier and Charles Mannheim, Paris, April 17, 1893, no. ???; Sale, New York, 1929; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1930, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions Text in gilded copper on cross above Christ's head: I H S/ X P~S; [Transcription] IH[ESU]S CHR[ISTU]S; [Translation] Jesus Christ. In this inscription, the titulus (the long horizontal mark indicating an abbreviation) is placed unusually between the P and the S to abbreviate the initials XPS for Christ.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1930

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Creator
Period
late 12th century (Medieval)
Medium
champlevé enamel on gilded copper
(Enamels)
Accession Number
44.83
Measurements
14 15/16 x 10 1/16 x 3/16 in. (38 x 25.5 x 0.5 cm)
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