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Home > Auctions > 23rd May 2023 > Medieval Wooden 'True Face of Christ' Icon

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LOT 0366

GBP (£) 3,000 - 4,000
EUR (€) 3,460 - 4,610
USD ($) 3,720 - 4,950

Sold for (Inc. bp): £1,560


CASTILE, CIRCA 1500-1520 A.D.
11 1/4 in. (1.28 kg, 28.5 cm).

Depicting an idealised image of Christ on a gilt background, stylised cross behind; wide eyebrows and double-pointed beard; the hair falling on the shoulders in neat locks; wearing a red tunic with gold embroidery reading 'REX + REGUM' for 'king of kings', pearled edge. [No Reserve]

with Ansorena, 10 November 2014, lot 456.
Ex central London gallery.

Accompanied by an academic report by Dr Raffaele D’Amato.
This lot has been checked against the Interpol Database of stolen works of art and is accompanied by search certificate number no.11742-202064.

Cf. similar iconography in ‘The Head of Christ, probably 1500/1510’, woodcut at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, German 15th Century, accession no.1943.3.521; the Copy of the Vera Icon of Van Eyck, in Koldeweij, A.M. & van Vlijmen, P.M.L. (ed.), Schatkamers uit het Zuiden, Rijksmuseum Het Catharijneconvent, Utrecht, 1985, pp.156-158.

The crimson tunic of our painting is clearly derived from the Van Eyck model, where crimson is associated with the Majesty of Christ. Christ is in fact shown here as the Saviour of the World (Salvator Mundi), a popular image in 15th century paintings.