18 November 1998
an aalmis rotterdam dutch blue and white crucifixion tilepicture
18th Century, signed J. Aalmis:r
Painted with Christ hanging on the cross with the inscription INRI above his head and a skull at the base of the cross, on the left side of the cross kneels Mary Magdalene against a rock holding a covered chalice in her hands, and on the right St John, in a rocky landscape with the city of Jerusalem in the background, in the lower right corner is a serpent crushed by a stone and a banderole inscribed with Detournez Seigneur votre Visage de mes Pechez et Effaces toutes mes offences P:8:50, in the top corners are winged cherub heads (nine tiles repaired)
4x5 tiles, 65x52 cm.
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cf. J. Pluis, Bijbeltegels, Bijbelse voorstellingen op Nederlandse wandtegels van de 17e tot de 20e eeuw, Mnster, 1994, p.526, ill. 1700 for another Crucifixion tilepicture by Aalmis
Medieval writers tried to establish historical links between the Fall and the Crucifixion, maintaining for example that the cross was made from the very wood of the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden and that Adam's burial place was at the site of the Crucifixion. The skull commonly seen at the foot of the cross alludes therefore not merely to Golgotha (the place of the skull), but represents Adam's own skull. The serpent with an apple in its mouth, near the skull, is a further allusion to the Fall. The inscription INRI at the top of the cross reads Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum in full.
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