Offered by Matthew Holder
European Works of Art & Sculpture
A Baroque fruitwood Crucifix carved in the round.
Southern Germany, 18th century.
Measures 47cm high.
The body of the cross is in the form of a trunk sprouting from a skull, a representation of the tree of life growing from the bones of Adam. It was believed that Adam was buried on Golgotha, the same site in which Christ was crucified.
Entwined around the skull is the devil in the guise of a serpent with an apple in its mouth, a reference to the original sin in the garden of Eden. Above the crucified Christ is a parchment engraved ‘INRI’, affixed by the Romans in jest, it is an abbreviation of the latin ‘I?sus Nazar?nus, R?x I?dae?rum’ which translates as ‘Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews’.
Reserved for private devotion, this interesting crucifix gives an interpretation of the Tree of Life symbolizing the sacrifice of Jesus for the redemption of the first Man and of Humanity.
A similar, smaller example (24cm high) was sold in the ‘Spetchley - Property from the Berkeley Collection’ sale at Sotheby’s, London on 11 December 2019, lot 163 for £2,500. It could be found in the inventory of 1949, 'A crucifix mounted on a carved wood skull' in the Strong Room.
Delevery information :
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1 250 €