Crucifix

Made by De Twee Scheepjes (The Two Little Ships), Delft, 1619 - 1794. Under Johannes Gaal, active at De Twee Scheepjes (The Two Little Ships) 1707-25, or his widow, Lijsbeth Gaal-van der Plank, active at De Twee Scheepjes (The Two Little Ships) until 1727.

Geography:
Made in Delft, Netherlands, Europe

Date:
1707-27

Medium:
Tin-glazed earthenware with blue decoration accented with red

Dimensions:
15 1/2 x 5 1/2 inches (39.4 x 14 cm) Base: 2 15/16 x 5 1/8 inches (7.5 x 13 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1921-3-171,a

Credit Line:
Bequest of Emmeline Reed Bedell for the Bradbury Bedell Memorial Collection, 1921

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Label:
This exceptionally rare Delft crucifix fits into a separate base and is executed entirely in the Dutch style with blue and white decoration accented with dripping, reddish drops. Roman Catholic imagery such as a crucifix would have been uncommon in the Protestant northern provinces of the Netherlands. This figure of Christ may have been made for the private devotions of a Roman Catholic household.

Additional information:
  • PublicationDelft Ceramics at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

    This crucifix in high relief, inserted in a base, is the only known modeled ceramic figure of Christ executed in blue and white in Delft. The figure of Christ bears painted reddish brown stigmata in bas relief on the palms of each hand, on the left hip, and on the feet, with blood dripping toward the base. The inscription INRI on the cross is framed by dark blue scrolls in relief. The cross, detachable from the base, fits into a rectangular opening and is painted in blue. The four-tiered base is hollow and unglazed underneath. It sits on three dark blue, flattened ball feet. Each of the four tiers is painted with a slightly different motif in light blue tones, reminiscent of Chinese-type decoration. A modeled skull painted dark blue with a white face and four crossed bones in relief are at the foot of the cross.

    Roman Catholic imagery such as a crucifix would have been rare in the Protestant northern provinces of the Netherlands. This figure of Christ may have been made for private devotions of a Roman Catholic household. It remains an isolated object, which has never been published or referred to in literature on Delft ceramics. Another religious image also made by the same factory with the same mark, JG, for Johannes Gaal, and the number 6, is a Virgin and Child in the collection of the Musées Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire in Brussels.1 Ella B. Schaap, from Delft Ceramics at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (2003), p. 38.

    1. Helbig, Jean. Faïences hollandaises, XVIIe-XVIIIe-- début XIXe siècle. Brussels: Musées Royaux D'Art et d'Histoire, n.d.