Crucifixion, Gosforth Cross

  • Description

    Title: The Victoria history of the county of Cumberland Identifier: cu31924092925936 Year:">1901 (">1900s) Authors:">Wilson, James, Vicar of Dalston Subjects:">Natural history Publisher:">Westminster [A. Constable and company, limited] Contributing Library:">Cornell University Library Digitizing Sponsor:">MSN View Book Page:" rel="noreferrer nofollow">Book Viewer About This Book:" rel="noreferrer nofollow">Catalog Entry View All Images:">All Images From Book Click here to" rel="noreferrer nofollow">view book online to see this illustration in context in a browseable online version of this book. Text Appearing Before Image: REMAINS OF THE PRE-NORMAN PERIOD The great standing cross at Gosforth is of red sandstone, a monolith 14| feet high from the pedestal, which is a rectangular block of three steps. The lower part of the shaft is cylindrical and measures 40 inches round the bottom ; for about 4 feet up it is plain and then breaks into a peculiar interlaced pattern, seen elsewhere on Scandinavian monuments, and thought by Mr. Calverley to be in- tended for a conventional representation of the intertwined branches of a tree, as if the whole pillar were meant for a great Tree of Life or the Yggdrasil Tree of northern mythology. Higher up, as at Penrith, the round shaft is cut away into four faces containing figure-subjects which with all the study that has been given to them are only partly inter- preted. We can see at any rate that dis- tinctly Christian emblems are curiously mixed up with emblems as distinctly heathen. The wheel-cross at the summit of the monument is a Christian symbol, and each of its four arms contains the Triquetra, often used in Irish art to sig- nify the Trinity. On three sides out of four great dragons attack this emblem ; on the fourth the dragon, winged but bound with many ring-fetters, appears to be flying from the cross-head, as if the artist meant to suggest the conflict of good and evil. On this last side, to the north, there is nothing more but two horsemen with spears, the lower upside down. In such conven- one mean a Text Appearing After Image: Crucifixion, Gosforth Cross. tional art the group should fight, with the fall of the one who is reversed; it may represent some phase of the conflict of good and evil, or the actual fight in which the person com- memorated lost his life or won his renown, though the warriors of the pre-Norman time did not usually fight on horseback—they were a mounted infantry ; and the rest of the figures on the cross are evidently not portraits but symbols. The eastern side shows a crucifix of a somewhat Irish type—the Christ dwarfed like the figures on the Monasterboice cross and elsewhere in Irish art, and standing in a frame of cable-moulding. Beneath are Longinus the soldier, piercing His side with the spear, and Mary Magda- 267 Note About Images Please note that these images are extracted from scanned page images that may have been digitally enhanced for readability - coloration and appearance of these illustrations may not perfectly resemble the original work.
  • Owner

    Internet Archive Book Images
  • Source

    Flickr (Flickr)
  • License

    What does this mean? No known copyright restrictions
  • Further information

    Resource type: Image
    Added by: Simon Cotterill
    Last modified: 3 years, 1 month ago
    Viewed: 427 times
    Picture Taken: 1901-01-01T00:00:00
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