Christ on the Cross (1511) by Albrecht Durer

Christ on the Cross - Albrecht Durer - 1511

Artwork Information

TitleChrist on the Cross
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationBritish Museum, London, UK

About Christ on the Cross

The artwork “Christ on the Cross” created by Albrecht Dürer in 1511 is a woodcut that forms part of “The Small Passion” series. It is an example of Northern Renaissance art and falls into the religious painting genre. This piece is held at the British Museum in London, UK.

The woodcut depicts the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In this detailed scene, Christ is shown hanging from the cross with a pronounced halo around his head. The letters “INRI” are inscribed above his head, which are the initials of the Latin title “Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum” meaning “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” Various figures are present around the cross, likely to represent the soldiers who crucified him, as well as possibly Mary, his mother, and other figures who were documented to be present at his crucifixion. The expressions and attire of the bystanders are rendered with meticulous care, indicative of the Northern Renaissance style’s focus on detail and realism. The use of stark contrast between light and dark areas enhances the dramatic effect of the scene. This woodcut is a powerful representation of a pivotal event in Christian iconography.

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