Processional cross pattée
Room 19

Gold and silver work


Processional cross pattée

First quarter of the 14th century
Silver cast, embossed and gilt and basse-taille enamelling
140 x 75 x 3 cm
From the monastery of Sant Joan de les Abadesses (Ripollès)
MEV 855

The processional crosses from the monastery of Sant Joan de les Abadesses, the Brotherhoods of the Treasury of Girona Cathedral and the collegiate church of Santa Maria in Vilabertran make up, for the time being, the earliest known examples in the chronological sequence of Gothic precious metalwork. All three were made in the same city, as the stamp identifying of the city of Girona confirms; they have the same trapezoidal arrangement with circular medallions clearly part of the Roman and Romanesque tradition of triumphal crosses, and they share the same chronology in the first third of the 14th century. In them the general archaic shape is united with the absolute correction of the details typical of the best decorators of the 14th century. The cross in the Museu Episcopal de Vic has plain arms, lacking ornamentation, which can only be seen on the enamelled plates of the circular medallions that indicate the meaning of the Passion and the redemption of the Son of God. On the front, surrounding a Christ of the period, nailed with three nails, with the crown of thorns and the cloth almost down to his knees, are the Virgin and Saint John, on the right and left; the pelican, at the top, and Adam the father, leaving the tomb at Christ's feet. And on the back, in the middle, the Mystic Lamb, surrounded by the symbols of the four evangelists. All these enamellings are done with precise bas-reliefs on which the colours of the vitreous paste shine unevenly, and they have a stylistic origin based on the forms of Italo-Sienese derivation.

Room 19
Floor 2
18 Leather
19 Gold, Silver and Metalworking Arts
20 Forge Work
21 Ceramics
22 Study Galleries