Description & Technical information

Rare 16th/ 17th century sculpture from the Old Kingdom of Kongo, depicting the crucified Christ, on an ebony cross, with a small shrine at His feet.
This expressive image of the dying Christ, head resting on the right shoulder, suggests calm resignation. The elongated stylised figure, with ribs defined by simple parallel lines, wears a short lention tied on the right. The limbs are slender and elongated, ending in star shaped hands and crossed flatenned feet, fixed by sall round headed pins. A circular halo, fixed fixed to the cross intersection, crowns the image. At The Christ's feet, in a niche topped by a Greek Cross, the small brass figure of a supplicant with the appearance of the Virgin Mary, alluding to the images of The Virgin and John the Baptist commonly associated to Calvary scenes.
The superiority of this of this crucifix can be noted when compared to other contemporary examples in private and museum collections, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (inv. nr. 1999.295.7) or the Musée Royal de l'Afrique Centrale, Tervuren (inv. HO. 1955.9.18).

Date:  16th - 17th century
Period:  1400-1600, 1600-1750, 16th Century, 17th century
Origin:  Kingdom of Kongo
Medium: Ebony, Brass
Dimensions: 23.5 cm (9³/₁₀ inches)
Provenance: Rui Quintela collection, Lisbon
Categories: Sculpture