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Ink, tempera, and gold leaf on parchment
Sheet: 35.4 x 23.5 cm (13 15/16 x 9 1/4 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1949.204
Below the cross a small skull is visible. Golgotha, the site of the Crucifixion, was often translated as "place of the skull."
The crucified Christ was a central theme of medieval visual art. Each period set its own artistic and iconographic priorities, depending on the function and context of the works. For example, the dead Christ with his head bowed, the side wound dripping with blood, and the richly designed loincloth is characteristic of the 1300s. This miniature is from Bohemia (present-day Czech Republic and Slovakia), with its capital, Prague, as a leading art center of its time. The great plague, however, does not seem to have triggered a surge of innovation there.
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