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Relief, 'Christ showing his wound', terracotta, 1420-1424, Italian
Height: 104.1 cm, Width: 61.8 cm, Depth: 23.2 cm, Weight: 64 kg
Verrocchio's Christ (Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest 13/03/2003-22/06/2003)
Seeing Salvation: The Image of Christ (National Gallery (London) 26/02/2000-07/05/2000)
European Art around 1400 (Kunsthistorisches Museum 07/05/1962-31/07/1962)
Medieval and Renaissance, room 50a
This figure originally came from the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova, Florence. It was in the lunette of a doorway, and is shown in its original position in a fresco of 1428 by Bicci di Lorenzo; the fresco is still in the Florentine hospital.
This deep relief figure of Christ is shown in three-quarter length, gazing downwards to his right. He wears the crown of thorns, and is showing his wound. A figure of Christ, naked except for a loin cloth cut off just above the knees and holding open the wound in his side with both hands. The crown of thorns rests on his hair which falls in long curls over his shoulders. In the centre of the chest is a circular cavity which was found to be filled with sand and in which was a thorn. Traces of original paint. The figure is modelled in half relief, the back being flat and the lower part of the drapery and the top of the beard are left rough.
This figure has been tentatively identified as the figure of Christ once situated over the now-destroyed small doorway leading into the Chiostro delle Ossa, next to the Church of Sant' Egidio within the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence. Christ’s wounds were a focus for devotion. His side wound was especially venerated, and in prayers it was evoked as a refuge for sinners. The hole in the chest of the figure may have housed a relic.