Dutch painter 16th century - inv. 3263

Dutch painter of 17th century

The Crucifixion
1580 c.
120 x 77 cm
1959 donation H. George Camp
Inv. 3263

Foreign Artist Room

This is a particularly interesting panel among the Flemish and Dutch works conserved in the Museum, because it expresses the moment in Netherlands art when the ‘classical’ was discovered and attempts were made to speak the language of Raphael and Michelangelo.
From 1508, when Jan Gossaert left for Italy (before him only Rogier van der Weyden had been on pilgrimage to Rome in 1450), it became customary for Netherlands artists to travel to the Peninsula, towards the preferred destinations of Rome and Venice.

The movement of Saint John the Baptist as he turns, hair and cape flying, the Magdalene’s position with her face almost in profile, the sculptural quality of Christ’s body, the dark of the stormy sky and the bright colours are all elements that presume knowledge of the Renaissance, acquired through stylistic formulae imported to the North.  In its iconography and composition though, the Crucifixion refers to the more traditional Flemish style, especially in the conception of the landscape and in the figure of Mary with bowed head and wrapped in her cloak.