About This Artwork

Spanish, Catalonia

Corpus of Christ, 13th century

Wood with traces of polychromy
201.9 x 165.1 cm (79 1/2 x 65 in.)

Kate S. Buckingham Endowment, 1926.120

This sculpture of the crucified Christ reportedly came from a church in Banyoles in northeastern Spain. It was displayed between the choir and the nave, which was the space reserved for the congregation. Originally painted and gilded, it would have provided a dramatic focal point for the faithful. Christ’s figure, with drooping head, closed eyes, and limp body, emphasizes his humanity and suffering. This resigned treatment of the crucified Christ gained currency around 1200, in contrast to more upright and triumphant representations of Christ on the cross of earlier centuries.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Publication History

Art Institute of Chicago, Annual Report (1926) p. 64.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Brief Illustrated Guide to the Collecdtions, Chicago, 1935, p. 13, ill.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Brief Guide to the Collections, Chicago, 1941, p. 18, ill.

H. S[cholle], "An Early Wooden Crucifix from Spain," in The Art Institute of Chicago Bulletin, 20 (1926), pp. 46-47, ill.

Meyric R. Rogers and Oswald Goetz, Handbook to the Lucy Maud Buckingham Medieval Collection, (Chicago, 1945), p. 61, no. 4, pl. 4-5.

Karl-August Wirth, "Die Entstehung des Drei-Nagel-Crucifixus, seine typengeschichtliche Entwicklung bis zur Mitte des 13. Jahrhunderts in Frankreich und Deutschland," Ph.D. diss., Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität, Frankfurt (1953), p. 49-50.

Paul Thoby, Le Crucifix des origines au Concile de Trent: Etude iconographique (Nantes, 1959), p. 153, pl. 120, nos. 258-59.

G. Cames, "Recherches sur les origines du crucifix à trois clous," Cahiers archéologiques, 16 (1966), p.186, fig. 6.

Rafael Bastardes, Les talles romaniques del Sant Crist a Catalunya (Barcelona, 1978), pp. 375-79, pl. 377.

Rafael Bastardes i Parera, "El crucifix de Banyoles," Quaderns d'estudis medievals, 1 (1981), pp. 237-44.

Rafael Bastardes i Parera, "El crucifix de Banyoles," Quaderns d'estudis medievals, 10 (1982), p. 644.

J[anice] Mann in Gothic Sculpture in America, vol. 2: The Museums of the Midwest, Dorothy Gillerman, ed.(Turnhout, 2001), pp. 45-46, no. 34, ill., p. 173, under no. 130.

Christina Nielsen in Devotion and Splendor: Medieval Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, Christina Nielsen, ed., Museum Studies 30, 2 (2004) pp. 47, ill., 93.

Ownership History

Church of Santa Maria dels Turers, Banyoles. Paul Tachard, Barcelona, c. 1919 [according to Bastardes i Parera 1981]. [R. Stora, Paris]; Kate S. Buckingham.

View mobile website