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ARTH201 Museum Project

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Attendants of the Crucifixion

c. 1500
15th Century-16th Century
45 x 27 x 2 1/2 in. (114 x 69 x 6 cm)

Attributed to Erasmus Grasser, German, (1450–1518)

Object Type: SCULPTURE
Creation Place: Europe, Germany
Medium and Support: Lindenwood or basswood relief
Accession Number: 77-SC-13
Gallery Label:

The work shows attendants on the right-hand side of the crucifixion. Presumably the figures from Jesus’ inner circle (His Mother, the beloved disciple John, Mary Magdalene, etc.) would be on the other side. Of the figures seen here, the one on the lower left shown pointing likely represents the centurion, who in the Synoptic Gospels serves as a witness to Christ’s innocence and divinity. John’s Gospel tells of a soldier (later identified as Longinus) who pierces Jesus’ side in lieu of breaking his legs, fulfilling various prophecies. Later legend conflates the centurion and Longinus characters and adds that Longinus was blind but cured by the miracle of Christ’s blood. One might speculate that the centurion’s missing hand held the “Holy Lance”. Two other notable features are that the centurion figure is the only one with carved pupils and that there seems to be an extra hand among the crowd of figures.

Thomas E. Blum, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Computer Science
Current Location: Art Museum : Main Hallway

Bibliography


- <i>Bewegte Zeiten, Der Bildhauer Erasmus Grasser (1450-1518) [Moving Times: The Sculptor Erasmus Grasser]</i>, Renate Eikelmann, Ed. Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, Munich, Germany, 2018.

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