The Anatomical Crucifix

God in the flesh

«True God and true man»: this is Jesus Christ. With his coming to the world, the Son of God took on the real nature of Man, whilst remaining God. In the first years of the Christian era, the Church defined and confirmed this view, defending it from its opponents (the so-called «heretics»). In 451 the Ecumenical Consilium of Calcedonia declared, “The Lord Jesus Christ perfect in his divinity and perfect in his humanity, true God and true man, [made up of] a rational soul and body, consubstantial with the Father for divinity and consubstantial with we for our humanity, in our image «yet without sin» [Eb 4, 15]. This room is dedicated to a single work of art: a small wax Crucifix, dating from between the end of the 17th Century and the beginning of the 18th Century, which allows the viewer to understand how Jesus Christ was really a man. An opening on the stomach allows us to view the internal organs; heart, lungs, the small and large intestine and rib-cage. Christ is shown as God and at the same time a fully-functioning man. For its beauty, its complex theological meaning and, above all, for its rarity, the anatomical Crucifix conserved in the museum represents one of the masterpieces of Christian Art.

Teodoro De Giorgio