Crucifix with Three Angels and the Symbols of the Evangelists, c. 1470-80

Not on Viewexpand_more

Early devotional woodcuts are exceedingly rare today because, ironically, they were such a common part of fifteenth-century life. Available by the thousands from peddlers or monastics and at shrines and fairs, these images were carried around, tacked up for use as home altars, sewn into clothing, and prayed to in the belief that they had intercessory powers. Eventually most simply wore out. The few that survive were typically pasted into book covers as special decorations. Only two impressions of the present image are known today. This print is among the earliest to bear both the name of the artisan or publisher and his address—the town of Rapperswil in Switzerland. The central part of the ornate design is probably based on a processional cross made of silver or gold.

Crucifix with Three Angels and the Symbols of the Evangelists
Artist Life
active c. 1465–1480
Accession Number
Angiolini, Milan; Gilhofer & Rauschburg; Knoedler & Co., 1925. Herschel V. Jones, Minneapolis (until d. 1928; bequeathed to MIA)
Catalogue Raisonne
Heitz 73/II Schreiber II & VIII.940m
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.