Kiltartan crucifixion plaque
This rectangular limestone Crucifixion Plaque lies on top of a grave in Kiltartan old graveyard near Gort, Co. Galway. It bears an effigy of the crucified Christ executed in a simple folk art style within a raised outer frame. The cross is a plain flat cross with the INRI inscribed across its transom. The plaque is dated on stylistic style to the early eighteenth century. The cross is positioned at a slight angle. This could have been done to accommodate a large heart positioned at the bottom right of the scene. An elongated loincloth or perizoma around the waist of Christ is decorated with punch marks and a hachured pattern. The fingers are curled inwards in pain from the nails, while the feet are shown apart. The navel and nipples are represented by small punch marks. The heart with a cross springing from the top presenting at the bottom right of the scene bears a lightly incised image of a cock, likely a reference to the Denial of Christ by St Peter. The cross in this context is generally associated with the image of the Sacred Heart.
This plaque came to my attention during the recording of the graveyard by John Tierney of Historic Graves in conjunction with University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students under the guidance of their course tutor Marguerite Helmers.