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Crucifixion was an ancient mode of capital punishment that was used by various cultures and religions across the world. In The Metropolitan Museum, there are a number of artworks depicting crucifixion, many of which date back to the medieval period. These artworks provide insight into how different cultures and religions have represented crucifixion over time.

Processional cross

European Sculpture and Decorative Arts / The Met

    This object is a repository for a relic believed to be a fragment of the True Cross.
    It is thought to have been made for a convent of the Poor Clares, probably in Florence.
    It is an extraordinary example of Florentine Renaissance metalwork, incorporating within its silver-gilt frame a series of twenty silver plaques with nielloed scenes depicting the Passion of Christ and various saints.


The Cloisters / The Met

    The Crucifix is meant to be seen from both front and back.
    The Crucifix is from Romanesque Spain.
    The Crucifix is attributed to the later convent of Santa Clara at Astudillo, near Palencia, but the source is not reliable.

The Crucifixion with the Virgin and Saint John

Dutch, The Hague? 1588–1629 Utrecht / The Met

    Painted roughly a century after the other works in this gallery, Ter Brugghen's scene of Christ's crucifixion draws on the dramatic, emotional appeal of earlier religious art to inspire the private prayers of a Catholic viewer.
    The Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist, who flank the cross, provide surrogates for the viewer's agonized beholding of the crucifixion.

Panagiarion with the Virgin and Child and the Three Angels at Mamre (interior) and the Crucifixion and Three Church Fathers (exterior)

Medieval Art / The Met

    The word "Panagiaria" derives from the Greek word "Panagia" which means "All-Holy One."
    Panagiaria are pendants made of two disks.


European Sculpture and Decorative Arts / The Met

    The reliquary takes the architectural form of a two-story altar, with a shell niche in the upper story framing enameled figures of the Crucifixion.
    The lower story contains a rock-crystal cylinder displaying a cross that was believed to incorporate a fragment of the true cross, and the capsule below contains a supposed relic of the sponge held to Christ's mouth when he was on the cross.
    The upper mount of the cylinder is engraved "LIGNUM. CRUCIS. SPONGIA. SAL[UTA]IS" (The wood of the cross; the alleviating sponge).

The Crucifixion

German, Westphalian, active ca. 1400–35 / The Met

    This Crucifixion shares a trait with other works of the so-called courtly (or International) style that prevailed in Europe in the years around 1400.
    The artist was one of the foremost painters in northwest Germany.
    The main panel is still in the Neustädter Marienkirche in Bielefeld, Westphalia.

Saint John the Baptist; Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata

Netherlandish, Oudewater ca. 1455–1523 Bruges / The Met

    The painting is a rare pairing of John the Baptist and Saint Francis.
    The painting could have been commissioned by an Italian merchant in Bruges.
    The painting could have been originally the wings of a triptych, and could have flanked a Crucifixion or a Lamentation.

The Crucifixion

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