Plaques with the Crucifixion mostly follow the present composition: a blue background is divided in four quarters by the cross with Christ at its centre, angels fill the upper two registers and the Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist, standing atop mounds that invoke Golgotha, fill the lower, the arison Adam or his skull lay at the base of the cross. The upper and lower edges tend to be decorated with waves, whilst the background is adorned with bands of colour or rosettes. The Virgin, Saint John, the risen Adam, and the angels are engraved and gilt rather than enamelled and usually enlivened by appliques which so often repeat the same model that they are likely to have been struck like coins.
Of the 149 plaques with the Crucifixion recorded in the two volumes of the Corpus des émaux méridionaux, less than half have a full-length applique of Christ instead of an engraved body surmounted with an applique of just the head. Even though Adam features regularly, the fine detail of him lifting the convincingly rendered three-dimensional lid of his coffin under the suppedaneum appears only twice: on the plaque formerly in the Collection Aldao and that in the Church of San Vicente in Cardona (CEM, op.cit., nos. VC 62 and VB 9). Equally rare is the diagonal decoration on Adam’s coffin, five-tiered mounds consisting of flame-shapes on which the Virgin and Saint John stand, and the unframed clouds from which the angels emerge. Otherwise the appliques that represent Christ and the heads of the other figures are of superior quality and in an excellent state of preservation. The dark blue fields have retained a particularly rich cobalt shade.
M.-M. Gauthier, É. Antione, and D. Gaborit-Chopin (eds.), Corpus des émaux méridionaux. Tome II. L’apogée 1190-1215, Paris, 2011, pp. 207-211, nos. VB 9 and VC 62
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