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The cross comes from an Orthodox church in Łosie near Krynica. It is one of the nine Orthodox processional crosses in the Museum's collection. Due to the richness of the depictions and its artistic value, it is one of the most valuable among the crosses and is displayed in the permanent exhibition of the Orthodox church art. Like most Lemko processional crosses, it is painted on both sides. On its one side there is a representation of Crucified Christ, on the other – the Baptism of Christ.


The cross has been in the Nowy Sącz collection since 1950. It arrived at the museum as a result of the action of securing the property formerly belonging to Lemko people. This action was carried out in 1947, by the Provincial Conservator of Monuments in Kraków, on the recommendation of the Ministry of Culture and Art, in connection with the mass deportation of the Lemkos. At that time, a group of historians and conservators toured Lemko villages in the Nowy Sącz area, collecting objects found in attics and lean-tos. The artefacts left behind by the departing inhabitants – which had been exposed to destruction or theft – were deposited in the rented Museum Depot in Muszyna, after having been labelled with cards stating the name of the town.

Sometimes, instead of a Baptism scene, images of the Mother of God were painted on the other side of the processional crosses.

On the reverse of the cross, the central position is occupied by the figure of the Crucified Christ. On the sides of his hand are the sun and the moon, symbols of the Old and New Testaments respectively, and, under his feet, lies Adam's skull. The scene is accompanied with the following Cyrillic inscriptions: “the Crucifixion of the Lord” (above the head of Jesus), a monogram of Christ “IC XC” (over the shoulders), “NIKA” (on the sides of the skull) and “Adam” (below it). The Greek word “NIKA”, meaning “the victor”, written in Cyrillic, is very often introduced into Russian icons depicting the Crucifixion.
On the reverse, in the upper part of the cross, God the father emerges from the clouds, below which the dove of the Holy Spirit emanates rays onto Jesus standing below it. He is standing in water up to his ankles; his arms are crossed across his chest. On the horizontal beam, on the sides of the head of Jesus, there are depictions of John the Baptist performing a baptism and the Archangel Gabriell holding the white fabric. Behind them are white and red mountain peaks. A winged angel's head appears under the feet of Christ. As in the reverse side, the characters have been inscribed in Cyrillic, and, at the bottom of the vertical beam, the date, “In the year of Our Lord 1708”, is visible.

Elaborated by Edyta Ross-Pazdyk (Nowy Sącz District Museum), © all rights reserved


Processional cross with scenes of “Crucifixion” and “Baptism of Christ”


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