Fragment of a Processional Cross

Fragment of a Processional Cross

c. 1050

Silver gilt, niello

Overall: 32.3 x 44.8 x 5.7 cm (12 11/16 x 17 5/8 x 2 1/4 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1970.36

Fun Fact

Byzantine processions were a feast for the senses. Imagine the scent of sweet and spicy incense wafting through the air, mingling with the sound of sacred chants as priests carry this cross in a procession during the service.

Description

Impressively large and elaborately embellished, the cross to which this fragment belonged was likely carried in liturgical processions. The central medallion on its front depicts Christ, flanked by medallions showing the Virgin and Saint John the Baptist. Together they form the Deesis, a powerful Byzantine image formula evoking these saints’ intercession with Christ on behalf of mankind. In the central medallion on the cross’s back is Saint Sabas, founder of an important monastery near Jerusalem, in whose honor the cross was made. He is surrounded by other monastic saints, thus indicating that the cross was likely used by a monastic community.

Video

Imagery and Technique
Imagery and Technique
Processional Crosses
Processional Crosses
Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy
See also
Collection: 
MED - Byzantine
Department: 
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 
Metalwork

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar.