The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of June 24, 2017

Processional Cross, c. 1320

oil on canvas on wood, Unframed: 61.3 x 44.2 x 2.6 cm (24 1/8 x 17 3/8 x 1 in). Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1943.280

This cross was originally mounted on a tall pole and carried in religious processions. Therefore, the figures on each side are almost identical. In the center is Christ crucified. Looking on from the elaborate terminals at left and right are the Virgin and St. John. The bottom terminal shows a different saint on each side: St. Francis on one and St. Clare on the other. At the top of each side is an angel. Although one angel looks up and the other down, both express intense grief in their faces and gestures.
The Master of Santa Chiara (St. Clare) is the name given to this unknown artist who painted this and several other works in Assisi. In that city, St. Francis founded an order of friars while St. Clare established a counterpart for women called the Poor Clares. The presence of both saints on this cross suggests that it was made for one of Assisi's Franciscian institutions.

American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, Inc. January 10-17, 1931. Sale of the DeClemente Collection, cat. no. 491, repr. p. 169.
NY: The Metropolitan Museum of Art "Treasury of St. Francis of Assisi" 3/15 - 6/27/99" exh. cat. no. 9, pp 86-87.
Fliegel, Stephen N. The Caporali Missal: A Masterpiece of Renaissance Illumination. Published on the occasion of the exhibition "The Caporali Missal: A Masterpiece of Renaissance Illumination" held 17 Feb to 2 June 2013 at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland: The Cleveland Museum of Art; New York: DelMonico Books, imprint of Prestel Publishing, 2013. Cat 17, pg 114-5.

The Cleveland Museum of Art (02/17/2013 - 06/02/2013): "Caporali"

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

Detail Views