unknown Sienese sculptor
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This large crucifix from Sant'Antonio in Montalcino (currently housed in the Museo Civico e Diocesano d'Arte Sacra, Montalcino) has been dated on the basis of style to c. 1330-50. The attenuated body, hanging low on the cross, is typical of crucifixes made at this time. It is carved out of walnut, hollowed to prevent cracking, with separate pieces for the head and arms, and the joints reinforced with glue and dowels. The well-preserved original polychromy (revealed when later repainting was removed in a 1985 restoration) emphasizes the magnitude of Christ's suffering, as great cascades of blood pour from his wounds and more delicate drops sprinkle his forehead and chest. Armpit hair is also sculpted and painted in this very human representation of the suffering flesh of Christ. The cross, which is original, is sculpted to look like the trunk of a living tree, evoking the idea that the cross is the "Tree of Life," as articulated influentially by St. Bonaventure. The delicately gilded loincloth, pure white lined with blue and covered with delicate geometric ornaments and pseudo-Kufic script, serves to elevate the figure. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.