Patriarchal Cross Of Caravaca
MEASUREMENTS: 66 x 33 mm
STYLE / PERIOD: Baroque
DATING: 18th Century
PLACE OF PRODUCTION: Spain, probably the Murcian region.
FABRICATION AND ART: Foundry, Cross with four cubic-lobed openings, Cross members finished in open pomegranate silhouette.
TYPE AND RING: Patriarcal-Caravaca / flat ring
Pectoral cross of Caravaca openwork quadrilobular
Side nº 1: Immaculate with the crescent and perhaps with the theme of the skull under its feet, it appears very worn. Ends of the arms with polylobed flowers. There are remains of incised burin decoration.
Side nº2: Crucified in a rough way. It looks like three nails. Immaculate with little appreciable crescent moon due to wear. Linear chiseled bottom.
The representation of either the four or three nails has been very flexible from the S-XIII, until then they were four nails, then the three nails were introduced little by little among the great artists, thus giving the Christ a more natural image .
The propensity for a greater cult of form and a greater imitation of nature, provoked the search in the artists of attitudes on the crucifix of more moved complexity and passion, of more terrible reactions, of more painful positions of members, and this no doubt is achieved with a single nail, which fixes both feet at the same time because of the immediate impact it has on the position of the entire rest of the body.
However, more modern authors as in the case of Velazquez, returning to the tradition of the four nails, have known how to give the body and holy humanity of Christ its predecessors with the drama and mobility that their predecessors had achieved.
In conclusion, at the popular devotional level, we can find four-nail pectoral crucifixes from the 13th century onwards, but which gradually disappear until the arrival of the Renaissance, being able to find some later examples but not with the rigidity that the Christs before the 13th but presenting more mobility and passion in their expressions.
Image: Diego Velázquez, The Christ of San Plácido (1632) Prado Museum
Image: Castillo Santuario de la Vera Cruz, Castle Sanctuary of the Vera Cruz, Caravaca de la Cruz, Murcia, Spain
Source: Cruces Y Medallas