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Processional Cross
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Processional Cross

Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This cross, which survives in nearly pristine condition, was cast in one piece, with the base and body formed of the same material. The high degree of perforation, creating a radiating lattice of crosses, would have been difficult to achieve in any other medium. Because of its inherent strength, bronze was ideally suited to this kind of treatment. The design is rigorously geometric, dominated by the interaction of circular and cruciform shapes. The curving ribbons enclosing the central cross differentiate this space from the concentric rings around it. The central cross, therefore, remains the focus of the object and is further distinguished by its open-work construction. The many small crosses radiating from the hub of this wheel-like form allude to the symbolic, regenerative properties of the cross. The form of this "wheel" cross, is common to the province of Lasta, site of the churches of Lalibala.
  • Ethiopian Art at The Walters. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1996.
  • Angels of Light: Ethiopian Art from the Walters Art Museum. Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton; Museum of Biblical Art, New York. 2006-2007.
Provenance Knopfelmacher Collection [Knopfelmacher 12], New York; William Wright Gallery, New York; Walters Art Museum, 1996, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase with funds provided by the W. Alton Jones Foundation Acquisition Fund, 1996

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14th-15th century (Solomonic)
cast bronze
Accession Number
H: 8 7/8 x W: 6 15/16 in. (22.54 x 17.62 cm)


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