The small processional cross is made of three sections that appear to have been cast in one piece: the cross, an oval panel with two circular holes, and a conical shaft. The cross takes the general fo..
The small processional cross is made of three sections that appear to have been cast in one piece: the cross, an oval panel with two circular holes, and a conical shaft. The cross takes the general form of a large square with rounded corners, and three cruciform protrusions along the left, right, and upper edges. The perimeter of the square is articulated with additional details. The four rounded corners feature smaller crosses that are similar in form as the finials. Each of these is made of four arms of equal length, rounded and notched at the ends and converging to a single point at the crossing. Each arm of these crosses is also decorated with an incised circle. The oval panel is pierced with two holes and is notched around the perimeter. The conical shaft is marked with parallel rings at the upper, middle, and lower ends. It appears that this shaft was initially cast flat, and then later rolled to create the conical shape. The faint seam is still visible where the two ends were welded and hammered together, a detail that is most evident in the interior of the cone. This shaft would allow the cross to be mounted on a pole and processed in liturgy. The cross is incised with figural and non-figural decorative elements on both sides. The front features, at the center, the Virgin and Child. Mary, to the left, is nimbed, and is shown with short hair, indicated by striations, large circular eyes with pupils, and a broad nose. She holds her son to her left side, wrapping him in her cloak. Her right hand grasps the hem of her garment that covers him. Christ is shown with short cropped hair, indicated by a hairline, wide eyes, and a broad nose. To the left and right are images of angelic figures, represented with schematic heads, bodies, and a single wing each. The upper frame features three haloed faces, each of which consist of a brow ridge, two dots for eyes, a rectangular nose, and vertical striations to indicate a beard. The back of the cross features an angel at the center of a dotted background pattern. Its face is similar to that of Mary: wide open eyes with pupils, a broad nose, and a small semi-circular shape to indicate a mouth. The halo is marked by striations. Wings emerge on either side of the halo, and are marked by three layers of lines to indicate feathers. The angel has a squat body that is also schematically represented. Emphasis is placed on its large-scale hands, and on the triangular-shaped sword that it carries in its left hand. The left and right margins also feature haloed figures of the same style. The style of these figures, with their wide and accentuated eyes, broad noses, and large hands, is similar to that found on the stone diptych (2020.193), and is in sharp contrast to the more Italianate style found on the painted icon (2020.190). This similarity in style suggests a shared artistic tradition for these two objects, if not a shared workshop. Lynn Jones, in Peregrinations: Journal of Medieval Art & Architecture 8, no. 1 (Spring 2022): 79–82. https://digital.kenyon.edu/perejournal/vol8/iss1/1/