Basle(?), ca. 1521/22
Embroidery, gold thread and coloured silks on linen
height 125.5 cm, width 54 cm
The crucifix embroidered in fine needlework is believed to have come from the Amerbach Cabinet. It may be either the "crucifix embroidered in gold" in inventory G of 1602, or that "in a single golden piece" on a chasuble of blue velvet, which Ritter Hans Kilchmann, a close friend of the Amerbach family, donated to the Carthusian monastery of St. Theodor in Basle. It belongs to the type known as 'Christus am Astkreuz' (Christ on the cross with branches): the Latin cross with stumps of branches recalls the Tree of Life and is a symbol of immortality. Needlework in which gradations of colour are achieved by the intermeshing of yellow, red and light blue silks, and which is couched with gold and silver threads, is typical of liturgical embroideries of the Late Gothic and Renaissance periods.