Christ as the Man of Sorrows (c. 1493) by Albrecht Durer

Christ as the Man of Sorrows - Albrecht Durer - 1493

Artwork Information

TitleChrist as the Man of Sorrows
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
MediumOil on Panel
Dimensions30 x 19 cm
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationStaatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany

About Christ as the Man of Sorrows

“Christ as the Man of Sorrows” is a work by the Northern Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer, created in 1493. The artwork, an oil on panel, is modest in scale, with dimensions of 30 x 19 cm, and belongs to the religious painting genre. Currently, it is preserved within the Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe in Karlsruhe, Germany.

The artwork features a poignant portrayal of Christ after the Crucifixion, presenting him as the “Man of Sorrows.” The viewer is met with an image of Christ seated against a darkened background, His body draped only partially with a piece of cloth, His wounds prominently on display. Upon His head sits a crown of thorns, and the blood from the thorns and His wounds punctuates His pale skin with spots of red. The intensity of Christ’s gaze is profound and contemplative, as He rests His chin in His hand. To His side, He holds the reed scepter, a mocking symbol of His kingship, and the instrument of His suffering, the scourge, is laid across His lap, further emphasizing the theme of sacrifice and suffering. The fine detail and emotional gravity that Dürer infuses into the artwork underscores the human aspect of Christ’s agony, drawing the viewer into a moment of solemn reflection on the divine sacrifice. The background, adorned with faint decorative patterns, contrasts with the stark and realistic depiction of Christ’s form, highlighting the central figure.

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