This series of 26 enamel plaques painted on copper depicts scenes from Christ’s Passion, reproducing and recreating 24 of the 36 engravings that make up the series called “The Little Passion” by the German artist, Albrecht Dürer, published in 1511.
The plaques are not signed or dated, but are part of a group of pieces attributed to the same workshop, in Limoges, between 1550 and 1625. Besides the 26 plaques from the Soares dos Reis National Museum, about 98 plaques are known today (distributed among several European collections), which are believed to have been produced in that workshop, currently designated the “Workshop of the Little Passion of the Holy Cross of Coimbra”. The series comes from the Sanctuary of the Santa Cruz de Coimbra Monastery, where it was found in 1752 and from where it was removed in 1834, following the dissolution of the religious orders. The wooden altar in which the plaques were inserted is still preserved in the monastery shrine.
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