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Opicinus de Canistris (1296–ca. 1354)
Diagram with Crucifixion
Avignon, France; 1335–50
Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vatican City, Pal. Lat. 1993

This drawing uses complex layers of image and text to create a single diagram of the earthly and spiritual Church. Near the top of the page we see a haloed man—the inscription labels him the incorruptible ruler of the whole Church—whose body and robe creates a circle that encompasses a traditional scene of the Crucifixion. At the outer edges are the winged symbols of the four Evangelists. Inscriptions that allude to geography and the zodiac intensify this ambitious rendering of the various bodies of the universal Church and their connections with earthly and cosmic structure.

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