The apostles are portrayed hanging on a vine that is standing in for the usual wooden cross.
A series that looks at the visual arts for signs of the universal Church in sometimes unexpected places.
In the days between the Resurrection and the Ascension, Christ briefed His apostles on the word they would need to tell the world. No doubt he reminded them about His many powerful metaphors, such as managing vines (John 15):
I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.
This 15th-century stucco roundel combines vines, apostles and the crucifixion in one image. It is very rare to see the crucified Christ depicted in this way. The German artist who created it must have had considerable imagination and independence of spirit to nail the Redeemer to a vine rather than to a standard wooden cross. The result is crowded but curiously expressive.
Lucien de Guise is on Instagram @crossxcultural. As a Catholic writer, editor, curator and former museum director, his aim is to build bridges through art.