Archivio Digitale del Volto Santo (ARVO)

Archivio Digitale del Volto Santo (ARVO) is a project about the Holy Face of Jesus. This legend, which in the 14th century became part of the Legenda Aurea, had an important influence during the Middle Ages. The Holy Face of Jesus of Lucca (Italy) is a crucifix that, thanks to Lucca’s position on the great pilgrimage routes to Rome and France, became an important relic in the late medieval religious landscape. It was well known in Northern Europe, and it was an object of devotion of the French nobility in the Late Middle Ages. It also was the emblem of the town identity of Lucca.

This project aims at retrieving all the material about the Holy Face of Christ in order to make it available to the public. In addition to various features such as a bibliography and a map, the website also contains links to many digitized primary sources (available on other websites). These primary sources are organized in various categories:

  • Ancient prints. In October 2015, 13 books were available, dating from the 16th until the 19th century. It is possible to search by key word, title, or author. The documents can be downloaded in PDF format.
  • Manuscripts. In October 2015, metadata concerning 18 documents were available. The documents date from the 12th until the 17th century. For some of them there are also digitized versions of the originals available, downloadable in PDF format.
  • Iconography. This section focuses on the many representations that were made in the Western world of the crucifix of the Holy Face of Jesus of Lucca. In October 2015, 74 images were available. They can be searched by key word, and browsed by position or date. Both metadata and digitized original (downloadable in JPEG format) are available.

Archivio Digitale del Volto Santo is a collaborative project by various partners.

Last update

Thursday, 7 April 2016 - 3:04pm
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