Date ca. 970
Movement Early Medieval | Ottonian
Medium Painted and gilded wood
Housed at Cologne cathedral, Germany
As evidenced by Bernward’s doors, a revival in large scale works was on the rise in the Ottonian period. This Crucifix marks the first representation of a dead Christ on the Cross in the West. Certainly the artist would have drawn inspiration from similar Byzantine works, but they have added physical elements to accentuate Christ’s pain—his torso is distended and sags from the very weight of his body, and deep incisions mark the anguish in his face.