Antique Black Forest Jansenist Carved Crucifix Benetier dating from late 1700's - 18th Century Crucifix with Bone Carving - RC115
A very special Black Forest antique crucifix, having the Body of Christ or 'Corpus Christi' in the Jansenist style with His arms stretched upwards. Dating from the late 1700's, the figure of Christ is carved from bone and attached to the wooden crucifix with four iron nails. The beautifully carved crucifix, incorporating a Holy Water Font, is hand carved from dark wood in two pieces, the base being separate from the cross. The original join between the two pieces has at some point been strengthened with the addition of an iron nail. The base is in the form of a mound covered with lush vegetation - lily leaves and mushrooms - that surround the stoup, or Holy Water Font that represents an opened lily flower. The back of the base is carved to represent the rocks of the mound. Behind the stoup, the cross rises with the lily leaves shooting tendrils around the wood, reaching up to the top. The back of the cross has no carving, and there is evidence of an early repair to the wood. The figure of Christ, carved in a naive style out of bone (bovine) is attached above the stoup.
A Jansenist crucifix signifies that Salvation is not for all, as Jansenist theology upholds pre-destination versus free will. Jansenists crafted their own crucifix to show their belief that Christ only died for the Elect. Normally, Jesus’ arms are stretched out horizontally on the crucifix, showing how Christ welcomes all to receive His grace. The Jansenist crucifix, though, shows Jesus’s arms more vertically, signalling the idea that he only died for a few. Jansenism was opposed by many in the Catholic hierarchy, especially the Jesuits but initially had strong support in the Spanish Netherlands, where Jansen himself had been active, supported by such major figures of the Church Hierarchy. Jansenism started in France in 1600s, but Catholic Church declared the sect as heretic in 1713.
The bone carving of Christ is is just over 6.25" (16cm) and has been carefully hand-carve in a naive style and attached to the cross with simple iron nails. This is an extremely interesting item, with great age, that has been carefully kept by a collector - we were very fortunate to be invited to purchase from the estate of a lifelong collection - that of a well renowned French Religious Antiquities Expert. All items from this estate date from the 16th, 17th and 18th century.
Your purchase will be very carefully packaged and despatched via the Irish An Post postal service.
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