Crucifixion Plaque with Longinus and Stephaton

8th century
Treasury of the Church of St. Foy, Conques, France

The inscriptions identify the bearded man on the left with the spear as Longinus and the one on the right as Stephaton, who gave Christ the sponge with vinegar. The now faint outline of Christ's cross and body are in the center.

Unusually, birds fly at the right end of the crosspiece; a figure at the left end could be another bird or possibly an angel. In classical and paleo-Christian art birds conventionally symbolized human souls, but it is not clear if that is the intention in this 8th-century work, nor whose souls these birds might represent.

Read more about the Crucifixion.

Photographed at the Treasury by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.