The Crucifixion

Early 14th century
Tempera and ink on parchment
Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD, USA

The ancient device of using a cross to represent the crucified Christ symbolically is still in use in this 14th-century gospel book, which also uses a lamb for the same purpose.

The thieves are represented with their arms fixed behind the crosspieces, as they are also in some late medieval works in Europe.

The standing figures could possibly be Longinus and Stephaton, but in that case where are the implements that identify them, the spear and the sponge? They may simply represent bystanders or apostles directing our attention to the crucifixion.

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Read more about the Crucifixion and about Crosses and Crucifixes.

Date and medium provided by the label at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photographed at the Metropolitan by Richard Stracke.