European Art
Artist: Master of the Gubbio Cross, Italian, Umbria, active ca. 1285–1320

Double-sided Processional Cross

ca. 1310

Tempera on panel

51.8 x 37.5 x 1.8 cm (20 3/8 x 14 3/4 x 11/16 in.)
Bequest of Maitland F. Griggs, B.A. 1896
1943.238
Culture: 
Italian, Umbria
Period: 
14th century
Classification: 
Paintings
Status: 
On view
Provenance: 

Maitland F. Griggs Collection, New York, acquired in Paris, 1926-1943.

According to information given verbally by Maitland Griggs, this rare example of a painted processional crucifix was believed by Offner to be Sienese, datable to very early in the 14th century. The saints at the base of the cross on both sides wear Franciscan habits (probably SS. Francis and Clara); the commission must have been for a Franciscan establishment, possibly in Assisi. Garrison ascribes the cross to an artist "trained in the Assisi ambient," whom he calls the "processional Cross Master," active in the northern Umbrian region of Perugia and Assisi and showing strong Cimabuesque and Cavallinesque features. Ferdinando Bologna, accepting this attribution, points to evidence of influence of Umbrian miniaturists (of Deruta and Salerno). A cross similar to the Griggs-Yale example but more Giottesque and slightly later in style, is in the Cleveland Museum of Art. Closer in style to the Griggs-Yale cross is the double faced processional cross with Flagellation and Crucifixion in the Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria, Perugia. This was confirmed in a study by Gerda Kunkel, Case-Western Reserve University (Seymour 1970, pp. 99-101).

Bibliography: 

Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972), 600.

Clay M. Dean, A Selection of Early Italian Paintings from the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2003), 13, 20–21, no. 3.

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.