Bronze Irish High Cross of Muiredach

Item Number: 143059

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This cross is inspired and designed after the west side of the Irish High Cross of Muiredach. It depicts several biblical scenes, mostly surrounding different events in the life of Christ.

  • Made of solid bronze
  • From the Art Studio of Butzon and Bercker, Germany
  • Measures 9.35"
  • Gift Box Not Included

    The Cross of Muiredach (Murdock), the finest High Cross in all of Ireland, is made of sandstone and named after the abbot Muiredach mac Domhnaill of the now ruined monastery settlement of Monasterboice which lies north of Dublin in County Louth. Muiredach's Cross was created in 923 A.D. and stands 18 feet tall. It is but one of the over 200 Irish high crosses which the pilgrim or traveler will encounter throughout Ireland. Stonecarvers depicted biblical scenes which they then painted in bright colors with the same sort of intricate patterns and flourishes to be marveled at in the Book of Kells and the Ardagh Chalice.

    Depictions on the west side of the Irish high cross of Muiredach as depicted here:

  • TOP PANEL: Moses, Aaron and Hur
  • LEFT PANEL: Six unidentified figures
  • CENTER PANEL: The Crucifixion of Christ: A young beardless Christ occupies the center. As is typical in medieval and Irish depictions, He is the Christus Triumphans type--alive and without suffering. Above his arms are two angels. Above and below the scene are spiral bosses and intertwined animals. Two soldiers stand symmetrically on each side of Christ, one the spearbearer who pierces His left side while the other holds a cane with a cup, perhaps a substitute for the spongebearer. Between the soldiers and Christ's knees are two heads, perhaps indicating the two thieves.
  • RIGHT PANEL: Soldiers at the tomb and the Resurrection of Christ The right cross arm depicts the Resurrection with guards kneeling on each side of the tomb and three angels behind them holding in a napkin a small figure representing the soul.
  • ONE PANEL BELOW CENTER: Christ is enthroned between St. Peter and St. Paul. He gives the keys to Peter on His right and a book to Paul.
  • TWO PANELS BELOW CENTER: Incredulity of Saint Thomas: In the center Christ holds up His right hand as if saying to Thomas on his right, "Reach your finger here; see my hands. Reach your hand here and put it into my side. Be unbelieving no longer, but believe" (John 20:27). The figure on the right with the book may be St. John the Evangelist, who alone tells this post-resurrection story.
  • THREE PANELS BELOW CENTER: The Arrest of Christ (Ecce Homo) A young beardless Christ stands in the center held by two soldiers; thus, this could be a depiction of the arrest of Christ. Because Christ is dressed in regal fashion with a large, ornate brooch and because he carries a wand (sceptre), this may represent the mocking of Christ when the soldiers dressed Him in a purple robe and crown of thorns and gave him a mock sceptre of reed, hailing Him as "King of the Jews." (John 19:4-6)
  • BOTTOM PANEL: Two cats, one with a kitten, the other with a bird, sit in high relief before the Irish inscription OR DO MUIREDACH LASNDERNAD IN CHROS which is usually translated "a prayer for Muiredach for whom the cross was made [or who caused the cross to be erected]." The Muiredach in this inscription is generally thought to be the abbot who died in 922 or 923, thus giving the cross its name and the suggested dating (900-923).

    For half a century this solid bronze art has been crafted by artists ranging from sculptors to blacksmiths. Each piece is not mass produced but rather carefully crafted in several different studios in Germany. The sacred symbols of faith that they produce are biblically-based and offer the finest in artistic quality.

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