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Crucified Christ
Place of Origin: Philippines
Date: approx. 1650-1750
Materials: Colors on wood
Dimensions: H. 34 5/8 in x W. 33 1/16 in x D. 7 1/2 in, H. 88.0 cm x W. 84.0 cm x D. 19.0 cm
Credit Line: Acquisition made possible by the San Francisco-Manila Sister City Committee
Department: Southeast Asian Art
Collection: Sculpture
Object Number: 2016.163
On Display: Yes
Location: Tateuchi Thematic Gallery

Description

Label:

Christian art is rarely displayed in museum collections of Asian art. Yet it has played an important role in parts of Asia. Christianity came to the Philippines in the early sixteenth century with the arrival of Spanish colonizers, and it is the dominant religion today. This large wooden image of Jesus may have come from a church or a private chapel in the Philippines.

Two common depictions of Christ on the cross are “Christ in agony” and “dying Christ.” In the first, Jesus’s head is lifted, his eyes raised, and his body tense with pain. In the second, his head droops, his eyes are closed, and gravity pulls on his near-lifeless body. This image seems to represent an intermediate stage. Jesus’s emaciated torso has been pierced by a lance, his head has not quite fallen to his chest, and his eyes are not yet completely closed. Though scarred and bloody, his face portrays no pain. His wounds are shocking in their naturalism—one can see the skin lifted away to reveal the flesh beneath, while the corners of each gash begin to bruise. This emphasis on the explicit portrayal of Jesus’s wounds was common in images made in the Philippines. Other indicators of a Southeast Asian origin of the statue are the angular shape of the face and the curve of the body.

The tradition of intense realism in religious imagery arose in Europe in the seventeenth century. Artists aimed to evoke an immediate emotional reaction in the viewer. Empathy and awe came hand in hand.


More Information

Exhibition History: "Philippine Art: Collecting Art, Collecting Memories", Asian Art Museum, 7/14/2017 - 3/11/2018
Label:

Christian art is rarely displayed in museum collections of Asian art. Yet it has played an important role in parts of Asia. Christianity came to the Philippines in the early sixteenth century with the arrival of Spanish colonizers, and it is the dominant religion today. This large wooden image of Jesus may have come from a church or a private chapel in the Philippines.

Two common depictions of Christ on the cross are “Christ in agony” and “dying Christ.” In the first, Jesus’s head is lifted, his eyes raised, and his body tense with pain. In the second, his head droops, his eyes are closed, and gravity pulls on his near-lifeless body. This image seems to represent an intermediate stage. Jesus’s emaciated torso has been pierced by a lance, his head has not quite fallen to his chest, and his eyes are not yet completely closed. Though scarred and bloody, his face portrays no pain. His wounds are shocking in their naturalism—one can see the skin lifted away to reveal the flesh beneath, while the corners of each gash begin to bruise. This emphasis on the explicit portrayal of Jesus’s wounds was common in images made in the Philippines. Other indicators of a Southeast Asian origin of the statue are the angular shape of the face and the curve of the body.

The tradition of intense realism in religious imagery arose in Europe in the seventeenth century. Artists aimed to evoke an immediate emotional reaction in the viewer. Empathy and awe came hand in hand.


Exhibition History: "Philippine Art: Collecting Art, Collecting Memories", Asian Art Museum, 7/14/2017 - 3/11/2018