Deploration of Christ in carved walnut, polychrome
with a base decorated with a shield with inscription IHS,
from the Loire Valley region, circa 1500
The Deploration, represents, in addition to Christ and his Mother
the characters present at the foot of the Cross, St. John, the favorite apostle and Mary Madeline.
Here, the sculptor has chosen to make Mary higher than the others, in a position of piety, her hands joined, she carries Christ on her knees.
Because of her height, Mary, the mother, has the most important place. It distinguishes her from the other characters.
She is recognizable by her veil and her cloak, blue and red, colors that are associated with her.
St. John, on the left, holds the sheet supporting Jesus as he dies, and seems to be weeping.
Mary Magdalene is on the right in prayer, her hands crossed on her chest.
On the base, the letters IHS inscribed, are what is called a "Christogram", an ancient abbreviation of the name of Jesus Christ.
In the third century, Christians used to shorten the name of Jesus and keep only the first three letters of his name in Greek: ??? .
The Greek letter ? (sigma) was later transcribed into the Latin alphabet in the form of S, so the monogram was transformed into IHS.
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