European Art
Artist: Camillo Rusconi, Italian, Rome, 1658–1728

Crucified Christ

ca. 1690–1700

Gilt bronze

other (Corpus): 82 cm(32 5/16 in.)
Gift of Laila Twigg-Smith, by exchange; the Leonard C. Hanna, Jr., Class of 1913, Fund; and the Maitland F. Griggs, B.A. 1896, Fund
Gilt-bronze crucifixes were the most common luxury sculpture commissions throughout Europe in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The present bronze, intended for a private altar, is remarkable for its size and its exceptional quality, most notably in the anatomical sophistication of the figure, the delicate modeling of musculature, and the finely tooled surfaces that differentiate the textures of hair, cloth, and skin. The wooden cross on which the corpus now hangs is old but not original to it.
Italian, Rome
17th–18th century
On view

The original provenance of this bronze is unknown, but it was clearly an expensive commission - judging from its size and the quality of its casting, chasing, and gilding - intended for an altar rather than for private devotion. It is said to have come from the collection of the Princes Chigi in Rome, descendants of the family from which Pope Alexander VII derived, prominent landowners in the Sienese territories in Tuscany and at Ariccia near Rome, and perhaps the greatest of Bernini's major patrons. In all probability it was part of a commission intended from the first for one of their benefices. From the Chigi, the bronze was sold to a private collection in Germany. It was acquired there by Alex Wengraf, Ltd., London, who sold it to Dr. Arthur Sackler. It is now being offered at auction (Sotheby's, New York, January 29, 2010, lot 448) by the Arthur Sackler Foundation.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.