between 1600 and 1650
Boxwood with transparent coating
Height 36.8 cm
The dead Christ is nailed to the cross with three nails and has his arms stretched upwards and only slightly to both sides. Of the original crucifix ensemble, the cross has been lost but a skull with crossbones survives. Muscles, the arch of the ribcage and the veins showing through the skin are softly modelled. The arms and legs as well as the feet and the tensed hands are strong and compact. The head, lowered towards the right, is framed by curly hair. The torment suffered by Christ is expressed above all by the open mouth, in which the teeth and tongue are visible, but also by the wrinkled brows and deep furrows on the forehead beneath the intricately rendered crown of thorns.
The type of head and treatment of the hair, the elongation of the torso and the legs stretched straight are reminiscent of crucifixes by Veit Stoss (ca. 1450–1533), who worked in Nuremberg and Cracow. Stoss’s sculptures were often taken as models for figures of the Crucified Christ between 1600 and 1650. This crucifix combines the influence of Gothic motifs with early Baroque forms such as the softer rendering of the skin, the more compact proportions and the powerful muscles. It presumably dates from the first half of the seventeenth century and was made in Southern Germany, very likely in Nuremberg.
On the back the monogram G.S. appears, pointing perhaps to the Nuremberg artist Georg Schweigger (1613–1690). However, since this crucifix is not at all similar to Schweigger’s representations of the Crucifixion, the question of the monogram remains unresolved.