The Medieval World, C. 400–1300

Carolingian and Ottonian Art

What is the Gero Crucifix?

The Gero Crucifix is a life-size sculpture depicting the body of Christ on the cross. Made of gilded and painted wood and meant to be suspended above an altar, the back of Christ’s head was hollowed in order to hold communion bread used in the ritual of the Eucharist. As opposed to the triumphant pose of Christ as seen on the book cover of the Lindau Gospels, this representation of Christ emphasizes suffering. Christ’s head hangs heavily and His body appears limp and frail. This is the first time in history that an image of dead Christ was depicted on the cross.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Art History Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App