Processional Cross with Saint Mary Magdalene and a Blessed Hermit

Framed gold panel of the Crucifixion, kneeling figures, flying angels
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Framed gold panel of the Crucifixion, kneeling figures, flying angels

Date:

1392/95

Artist:

Lorenzo Monaco
Italian, 1370/75–1425

About this artwork

Representative of the early work of Lorenzo Monaco, a Camaldolese monk and leading Florentine painter of the end of the fourteenth century and the beginning of the fifteenth century, the delicate colors and simplified forms of this Crucifixion are exceptionally well preserved. The medallion above the crucified Christ contains an image of Christ in Glory, holding a palm in each hand to symbolize his victory over death. Below, the crowned figure of King David holds an inscribed scroll. More often in Crucifixion scenes of this period, a pelican appears at the top of the cross and the skull of Adam lies at the foot. A penitential theme is suggested by the figures kneeling under the Cross: on the right is a haloed Magdalen in a red robe; on the left, a man with the incised rays of a beatus, or blessed one, emanating from his head wears the torn brown cloak of a hermit. He was probably meant to represent a specific hermit within the Camaldolese order. The panel has a hole drilled at the base, allowing it to be mounted on a pole and used as a processional cross, likely in the monastic Camaldolese community of Santa Maria degli Angeli, where Lorenzo lived and worked.

On View

Arms, Armor, Medieval, and Renaissance, Gallery 237

Artist

Lorenzo Monaco

Title

Processional Cross with Saint Mary Magdalene and a Blessed Hermit

Origin

Italy

Date

1392–1395

Medium

Tempera on panel

Inscriptions

Inscription: atop the cross, ICXC (Jesus Christ); on the scroll held by the figure at the foot of the cross, [MISE] RERE MEI D[EUS] (Have mercy upon me, O God)

Dimensions

Panel (Including Frame): 57.3 × 28 cm (22 1/2 × 11 1/16 in.); Painted Surface: 51 × 23.3 cm (20 1/8 × 9 3/16 in.); Widest Point at Center: 13.2 cm (5 3/16 in.)

Credit Line

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection

Reference Number

1933.1032

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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