Sculpture Journal

A masterpiece by the Master of the Courajod Christ in Normandy: a reconsideration of the crucifix of Saint-Marcel and other Norman Romanesque sculptures

Sculpture Journal (2018), 27, (2), 157–176.

Abstract

This article focuses on the Romanesque wooden crucifix of the church of Saint-Marcel at Saint-Marcel (Eure, Haute Normandie, France). It is stylistically related to the famous Burgundian crucifix known as Courajod Christ of the Musée du Louvre (R.F. 1082). I propose that the two works were carved by the same anonymous sculptor, who is named here the ‘Master of the Courajod Christ’. A possible historical nexus between the Saint-Marcel crucifix and the region of Burgundy is identified through the figure of Rotrou de Beaumont-le-Roger, bishop of Évreux from 1139 to 1165 and archbishop of Rouen until his death in 1183, whose presence in Burgundy is well documented on at least two occasions. Two other carvings still conserved in Normandy (a crucifix in the church of Saint-Crespin-et-Saint-Crépinien of Barc, Eure, Haute Normandie, France) or created there (a head of Christ, Nantes, Musée Dobrée, inv. 969-7-243) are also associated with the Saint-Marcel crucifix.

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Author details

Girelli, Francesca