18th C.
13.25 in HIGH x 9.5 in WIDE x 1 in DEEP
(33.65 cm HIGH x 24.13 cm WIDE x 2.54 cm DEEP)


The intersection of the cross has a depiction of the face of Jesus, crowned with thorns, probably representing the image on Veronica's veil. From the History Information Station: Object: Wooden cross that has been covered with gesso and gilded. It dates to the 18th century Mexico. History: In the center of this cross is the head of Christ surrounded by an intertwined crown of thorns. The mission padres used this symbolism, rather than showing the body of Christ on the cross, in part to prevent the crucifixion from appearing as a human sacrifice. The use of Christ's face was inspired by the story of Veronica. Veronica was the woman who came forward as Christ was bearing his cross to Calvary and wiped the sweat from his face with her veil. The image of his features was miraculously imprinted on the material. The letters INRI at the top of the cross are an acronym for the Latin phrase Iesus Nazerenus Rex Iudaeorum, which means Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. It was first put at the top of the cross in mockery by Roman soldiers at Christ's crucifixion. Museum collection
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