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The Christ from 1147

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Christ from 1147 is a sculpture exhibited at the National Art Museum of Catalonia in Barcelona.[1][2]


Within the Romanesque wood carving of Catalonia, this is an exceptional item as it can be precisely dated, something that only happens in two other works.

In a restoration undertaken in 1952 a cavity was discovered behind the figure of Christ which contained various relics wrapped in Hispano-Muslim fabrics and some parchments. One of these parchments contained an inscription in which could be read the date the work was consecrated, 1147, from which it takes its name. Another parchment mentioned the acknowledgement of the relics in 1521, which shows the item was still in use after the Middle Ages and remodelled at that moment. To some extent, the piece is valuable for the dating of similar works and also reminds us that some carvings were also used as reliquaries.

Unlike the Maiestàs (or Christ triumphant), The Christ from 1147 is an example of the Suffering Christ (Christus Patiens), depicted half naked, dressed only in a short loincloth or perizonium and with his arms noticeably bent. Although it is a reference to the redemptive death of Christ, it dwells more on the aspect of suffering, on the death of Christ the man. The hard facial features help to stress this aspect, as does the treatment of the anatomy. Nevertheless, we must bear in mind that the work has lost practically all its polychrome, so that its present appearance is very different from the original. The Catalan area has numerous examples of this typology, and of Romanesque in general. Amongst the main precedents is the Christ from Gero, kept in Cologne and dated between 960 and 980.


  1. ^ Guia del Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya.p. 25. MNAC, 2004. ISBN 84-8043-136-9
  2. ^ The artwork at MNAC's Website

Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 23 December 2020, at 01:00
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