This work was purchased outright by the Art Fund nearly two centuries after it was found and presented to the museum, which had never before received the fund's support.

This relief is of a type first known in eastern Mediterranean and Byzantine art of the late sixth century and was found in 1773 in the ruins of a Celtic chapel on the Calf of Man, a small island off the southwest tip of the Isle of Man. The low relief depicts the Crucifixion in the Irish vernacular style; Christ is depicted alive on the cross with a soldier piercing his side. The scene is now incomplete, on Christ's side another soldier originally appeared holding the sponge soaked with vinegar and, above Christ, were two angels. The foot of one of the two angels can still be seen above Christ's right shoulder. The immediate inspiration for The Calf of Man Crucifixion was probably a Celtic bronze dating from the late seventh or early eighth centuries.


John Quayle; by descent to Mrs Pharo-Tomlin.

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