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Detail of the Upper Body

Photo: © Dombauhütte Köln, Matz und Schenk

Christ’s head is bowed; his eyes are closed. Although the uppermost layer of paint, which was applied by W. Batzem in 1904, and several other layers of paint beneath it conceal a number of details, X-rays show that the eyes on the original tenth-century corpus were closed. In other words, the original corpus depicted Christ not as the victor over death, as is the case with almost all earlier crucifixes, but as a human being in the depths of humiliation. This is most likely the result of a shift in Christian dogma in the late tenth century that placed salvation through Christ’s death at the heart of the doctrine of the faith.

Kulturstiftung Kölner Dom Das Generationenprojekt 11.000 Sterne für den Kölner Dom ZENTRAL-DOMBAU-VEREIN ZU KÖLN VON 1842 DOMKLOSTER 4