Crucifix

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unknown Florentine artist
Keyword
Crucifix , Christ , Cross , Jesus
Abstract
This crucifix, housed in the Old Sacristy in San Lorenzo in Florence, includes a largely illegible papal insignia under the feet, but Margrit Lisner noted that it is divided in half horizontally, which means that it must have been commissioned by either Pope Gregory XII (a Venetian with no real ties to Florence) or the deposed pope John XXIII (Baldassare Cossa), who was buried in Florence and was close to Cosimo de' Medici, which explains the location of the crucifix in the Old Sacristy, a space under Medici patronage. This then dates the work between 1413, when Cossa came to Florence, and his death in 1419. The crucifix is unusual in that the surviving original titulus (sign above Christ's head) is not simply inscribed with the abbreviation INRI but instead the full "Jesus Christ, King of the Jews" in Latin, Greek and Hebrew. The original cross with its tree-like form is also somewhat unusual. The figure and cross are painted wood, but the loincloth is a piece of fabric, dipped in gesso and affixed to the figure. This was quite a common technique in the later quattrocento but was not generally done at this early date, known only in a few extant trecento precedents. Brunelleschi's Santa Maria Novella Crucifix (now without a loincloth) must have originally been clothed in a similar fashion (with a cloth tied around or one dipped in gesso and affixed) and dates to around the same time (c. 1410-15). Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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