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Sto. Cristo Expirante / The Expiring Christ
17th Century
Solid ivory with polychromy.
Height: 41 cm or 16.4 in.
Provenance: Collection of Dr. Porfirio J. and Mrs. Socorro Rodriguez Callo

An exceptionally well carved, solid ivory image of the expiring Christ. The Christ figure is shown looking up with eyes open in the "Expirante" (expiring) posture. Christ's face is beautifully rendered with heavy-lidded bulging eyes and a straight nose. The hair is exceptionally well carved with two tresses cascading on the left and right sides. The ends terminate in beautifully rendered curls that frames the face.

Consistent with observations by Estella Marcos, the Christ figure is crowned with thorns. Observe that the crown of thorns is exceedingly well executed. The vines are entwined around each other to form the crown. The individual thorns are sharp and well delineated.

The corpus is depicted as a slender, straight and upright torso. The hands are outstretched with palms open to receive the nails. The legs are long and slender terminating in feet shown in the baroque convention of one foot on top of the other bound with a single nail. Strained and distended veins are carved on both the arms and the legs (particularly near the feet) to heighten realism. This is a very typical Philippine feature. over size wedding wears in mermaid trumpet style

The "tapis" also called the "perizonium" is exceptionally well carved. The loincloth is draped left to right terminating in a knot on the right side of Christ's body. The loincloth is very typical of Philippine Cristo figures of the 17th century draping over the body in soft, ogival folds terminating in a "V" shaped point at the ends.

Condition is excellent for its age. Beautiful age patina with age appropriate shrinkage cracks. The original nails exists and are part of the ensemble.

NOTE: This is probably one of the finest ivory images of the crucified Christ in ivory I have ever seen!