This crucified Christ was made by the renowned sculptor Lorenzo Fernández de Viana, as can be seen in the signature on the back of the cloth of purity: “L. F. de Viana”. It must have been produced before 27 October 1897, the date on which the sculptor added the Lignum Crucis relic, as stated in its authentication: “Trasladose esta / auténtica y reliquia / a esta cruz las / cuales estaban en la sala / capitular el día / 27 octubre 1897/ puselas F. de Viana” [Transfer this / authentication and relic / to this cross / which were in the chapter / house on / 27 October 1897/ placed there by F. de Viana].
It is an unpolychromed mahogany-coloured Christ attached to a gnarled cross by four nails. He is depicted as a young, well-proportioned man. His head is tilted to the left and crowned with thorns, with his hair falling over his shoulders. The agonising pain of torment can be clearly seen in his face. The cloth of purity is attached to his body, tied at the waist by a braided rope. At his feet is a relic in the form of a Latin cross with the Lignum Crucis (small splinter of the wood with which Christ was crucified). It rests on a truncated cone-shaped base and the upper section of the figure bears the large Latin inscription, or titulus, “INRI” (Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm). The work clearly demonstrates that Lorenzo Fernández de Viana was a lover of realism and the human figure, but without forgetting the legacy of the classics and the great image-makers.
BARTOLOMÉ GARCÍA Fernando R. “Obras del escultor Lorenzo Fernández de Viana (1866-1929) en la Catedral de Santa María de Vitoria-Gasteiz”. Euskonews & Media, 2009. https://www.euskonews.eus/0476zbk/gaia47603es.html
ARREGUI BARANDIARAN, Ana. Lorenzo Fernández de Viana (1886-1929) un escultor alavés. Vitoria-Gasteiz: Diputación Foral de Álava, 2021, pp. 78-82.