- The Crucifixion in British collections, 1000-1350: a compa...
The Crucifixion in British collections, 1000-1350: a comparative study
the 'Noli me Tangere' iconography on the top left (where Mary
Magdalene meets the risen Christ, in John 20:17), and the scene of
Judas's kiss which identifies Christ to the Romans in the bottom
left hand corner (Matthew 26:47-50 and Mark 14:44-45) (V. and A.
Museum, "The Soissons Diptych").
The curve of Christ's body on the cross, in the Crucifixion
scene found in the centre right panel, and the suggestion of agony
in the twisted posture was typical of devotional objects after
around 1250, as with the Italian example by Pisano (Figure 2). The
influence of St. Francis of Assisi was leading to the development
of a deeply bodily form of devotion, which encouraged empathy with
Christ's suffering and veneration of his wounds (Vauchez, Dobson
and Lapidge 387).
In all the representations brought together here, the purpose
and medium of each artwork is closely tied to the way in which the
Crucifixion story is portrayed. Throughout the Romanesque and
Gothic styles in the European visual arts, the body of Christ was
the primary referent for an artistic practice firmly connected to
devotional and ecclesiastical patronage. Alongside the differences
in purpose, media and role touched upon here, it is the different
emotional and empathetic treatment of Christ's agony which tells us
the most about the development of the role and purpose of visual
art in the medieval period.