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The Crucifixion: MAR.M.253-1912

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


The Crucifixion


Maker: unidentified enameller




Copper, decorated with polychrome enamels, and gilded

Rectangular almost flat copper plaque with small blocked holes in the corners, enamelled in blue, green, yellow, pale brown, a little pale red, black, grey, and white enamels, and gilded. The reverse has clear counter-enamel.
Christ hangs on the Cross with INRI inscribed on a gold label above his head. The two thieves are crucified on either side. The pale red blood trickling from their wounds stands out from their white bodies. Two horsemen and a crowd of soldiers in sixteenth century costume mill around the crosses.One of the horseman, St Longinus, has pierced Christ’s side with a spear. Two soldiers at the front on the right hold shields, one of which is decorated with a lion’s head. The others behind hold axes and pole weapons. A soldier on the left holds a sponge on a staff. Mary Magdalene clings to the base of the Cross, and St John stands on the left. In front of him the Virgin swoons, supported by two holy women. A skull and a bone lie at the base of the Cross. The sky is black with the sun above the repentant sinner on the left, the moon on the right, and above the cross scattered stars, all in gold. Elsewhere gold is used quite profusely for Christ’s hair, crown, and halo; for the sponge on a staff, the axes and pole weapons; the edges of the garments and armour, and plumes on the helmets.
The plaque is set into a plain gilt-metal rectangular frame with a suspension ring at the top, and a toothed edge at the back to secure the plaque. It is not original.


History note: Purchased from Messrs Whitehead, 8 Duke St, St James's on 13 April 1864 for £65

Legal notes

C.B. Marlay Bequest

Place(s) associated

  • Limoges ⪼ France
  • Paris ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1912) by Marlay, Charles Brinsley


16th Century, Mid
Circa 1545 CE - 1555 CE


This plaque was formerly attributed to Pierre Reymond but is not in his style.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( blue, green, yellow, pale brown, a little pale red, black, grey, and white) gold
Frame composed of gilt-metal Height 11.4 cm Width 8 cm
Plaque composed of copper

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: INRI
  • Location: On cross
  • Type: Inscription

Identification numbers

Accession number: MAR.M.253-1912
Primary reference Number: 156448
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 30 June 2016 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "The Crucifixion" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-06 04:17:03

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{{cite web|url= |title=The Crucifixion |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-12-06 04:17:03|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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