The Cloisters Cross

Made of cast resin

Hand-patinated to reflect the original finish.

26 1/2''H x 13 1/2''W x 4''D including base.

Item No.

The Cloisters, New York


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Our cross is adapted from an original twelfth-century ivory altar cross in the collection of The Cloisters Museum and Gardens, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum devoted to Medieval art. To capture the rich detail and graceful bearing of the original sculpture, which features some 92 figures and 98 inscriptions, this reproduction was created using an advanced three-dimensional imaging process in combination with the same traditional carving techniques used to sculpt the original ivory. During the Middle Ages, the liturgy of the Christian Church-the rites and ceremonies prescribed for communal worship-necessitated a variety of objects to celebrate the mass. Liturgical objects were often crafted of the most precious materials. One of the masterpieces of English Romanesque art is a carved ivory morse (walrus) cross with square terminal plaques and a medallion. This cross, now in the collection of The Cloisters Museum and Gardens, has sometimes been attributed to the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds (Suffolk) in eastern England in the middle of the twelfth century. Carved in relief on the front and back with some 92 Biblical figures and 98 inscriptions, it presents a complex theological program, the sort one might find on the facade of a cathedral, though here it appears on an object one can literally hold in the hand.
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