MediumNarra wood, pigments
DimensionsWork : 22 3/4 x 18 1/4 x 5 in. (57.78 x 46.36 x 12.7 cm)
Credit LineGift of David Kamansky and Gerald Wheaton
LabelAfter the Spanish colonized the Philippine islands in the 16th century, they used the Christian religion to maintain and strengthen their power over the various indigenous peoples they controlled. As they also did in Mexico, Spanish colonial officials in the Philippines sent missionaries from different Roman Catholic orders into the countryside to build churches and settlements. Nearby populations were required to attend services at the churches and to support the settlements by paying taxes and providing free labor to the colonizers. This image of the crucified Christ was probably carved by a Filipino artisan for use in the church or chapel of a colonial settlement. It would originally have been mounted on a cross and painted to give it a more naturalistic appearance. Christ’s body and face are well modelled but do not demonstrate the exaggerated, highly emotional qualities evident in many European sculptures of the same period, suggesting that it may have been based on an earlier or more provincial prototype.