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Double-Sided Processional Cross

Master of Monte del Lago

European Art

Both sides of this crucifix show the bleeding Christ on the cross. One side depicts him, alive, with his left eye open and Mary Magdalene at his feet. The other side portrays him after death, with both eyes closed, with a pelican above to symbolize his Resurrection. Originally, this crucifix was likely attached to a pole and carried in processions among the faithful, allowing them to sequentially experience both moments in the narrative.

Ethiopian Christians came to Italy in the early 1300s to forge anti-Muslim alliances with Europe. By the early 1400s, Ethiopian monks lived in Rome and other regions of Italy. They would have seen objects such as this, which evoked their own processional
crosses, like those on view nearby.
MEDIUM Tempera and gold on panel
  • Place Made: Umbria, Italy
  • DATES 2nd quarter of the 14th century
    DIMENSIONS 39 1/16 x 16 9/16 x 4 5/8 in. (99.2 x 42.1 x 11.7 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Mary Babbott Ladd, Lydia Babbott Stokes, and Frank L. Babbott, Jr. in memory of their father Frank L. Babbott
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Master of Monte del Lago (Italian, School of Umbria, second quarter 14th century). Double-Sided Processional Cross, 2nd quarter of the 14th century. Tempera and gold on panel, 39 1/16 x 16 9/16 x 4 5/8 in. (99.2 x 42.1 x 11.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mary Babbott Ladd, Lydia Babbott Stokes, and Frank L. Babbott, Jr. in memory of their father Frank L. Babbott, 34.845 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 34.845_side1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 34.845_side1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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