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HOME : Byzantine Art : Byzantine Crosses : Byzantine Processional Cross Depicting St Michael
Byzantine Processional Cross Depicting St Michael - SK.042
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 900 AD to 1200 AD
Dimensions: 8" (20.3cm) high
Collection: Byzantine Art
Medium: Bronze

Location: UAE
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Processional crosses were widely used in the Byzantine era in liturgical processions, military campaigns and imperial ceremonies. They were also offered to religious foundations as votive gifts. This elegantly shaped example is fashioned from a sheet of bronze with engraved ornamentation. Each of the flaring arms ends in two circular finials. The piercing at the bottom, filled with iron deposits, probably indicates that the cross was once attached to a base.

In the centre is an imposing representation of the archangel Michael, standing in frontal view. Above the figure, a Greek inscription identifies the chief of the heavenly host. The style is highly abstract, particularly the saint’s elongated face. This is framed by a halo and a small but delicate set of wings are also present. Dressed in a long ankle length robe, the saint adopts a highly unusual pose, resting his weight on his toes. The robe itself is divided into panels and adorned with dot and wave motifs. This elegant piece impresses us with its simplicity and offers a unique insight into the world of medieval spirituality. (AM) - (SK.042)


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