Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

This large ivory of the crucified Christ, likely from the colonial Spanish Philippines, is not only shaped by an impressive array of cultural influences, but may also be one of the Fogg Museum’s most well-traveled objects. Statues such as this one were made of African or Thai ivory that was shipped to the Philippines by European merchants, then carved there for Spanish Catholic patrons by Chinese immigrant artists known as Sangleys. These sculptors used Netherlandish prints and religious figurines brought by missionaries as their models, while retaining the aesthetic sensibilities and carving styles they had acquired in local workshops. Hispano-Philippine religious ivories, sometimes used in the conversion of local populations to Catholicism, were more typically exported to supply New World and European demand for Asian luxury goods. This crucifix was probably first sold to a wealthy individual in colonial Mexico. At an unspecified later date it was sent to Spain, effectively completing its lengthy circumnavigation of the globe.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1943.1082
People
Unidentified Artist
Title
Crucified Christ
Other Titles
Alternate Title: Carved Crucifix
Classification
Sculpture
Work Type
figure, sculpture
Date
c. 1600-1650
Places
Creation Place: Southeast Asia, Philippines
Culture
Hispano-Philippine
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/230121
Location
Level 2, Room 2500, European Art, 13th–16th century, Art and Image in Europe
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Polychromed ivory with traces of gilding
Technique
Carved
Dimensions
62.5 × 68 × 13 cm (24 5/8 × 26 3/4 × 5 1/8 in.)
framed: 124.5 × 83 × 18.5 cm (49 × 32 11/16 × 7 5/16 in.)
10.8 lb.
Provenance
Grenville L. Winthrop, New York, NY, bequest; to the Fogg Art Museum, 1943.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
1943
Object Number
1943.1082
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
THIS WORK MAY NOT BE LENT BY THE TERMS OF ITS ACQUISITION TO THE HARVARD ART MUSEUMS.
The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.
Descriptions
Description
Ivory figure of crucified Christ. Hands and feet are pierced, and nails are in place to affix the sculpture to a vertical surface. A deep groove is present at the top of the figure's head. Christ's hair, beard, pupils and eyelashes are painted in brownish black. His lips and wound on the right side of his torso are painted in red. The loincloth is decorated with geometric and floral patterns, which are painted in red and gilded. Traces of red paint, indicating blood, appear on the figure's forehead, face, neck, arms, hands, torso, legs, and feet.
Publication History

Adam Jasienski, "Life of an Object: 1943.1082", Index, Harvard Art Museums (https://harvardartmuseums.org/article/life-of-an-object-1943-1082, October 9, 2013), [accessed October 16, 2013]

Jessie Park, "Made by Migrants: Southeast Asian Ivories for Local and Global Markets, ca. 1590-1640", The Art Bulletin (December 2020), 102: 4, pp. 66-89, pp. 67-70, 78-82, 86 (notes 5-7, 11-12), fig. 1; details: figs. 2, 3, 10, 11, 20

Exhibition History

32Q: 2500 Renaissance, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu