Diego Velázquez’s oil on canvas painting, Christ Crucified departs from the Church’s preference for Baroque artwork with its naturalistic style. Measuring 249 × 170 cm and owned by the Museo del Prado, this piece depicts the crucifixion of Jesus without showing the agonies of his passion.
The painting features a solitary Christ on a cross, holding a sign reading “Jesus of Nazareth, king of the Jews.” Velázquez created various studies in Rome that he later utilized in paintings like this one. Some analysts believe that Christ Crucified was created between 1631-1632 after Velázquez returned from Italy.
Despite its religious subject matter, Velázquez emphasizes the everyday nature of the cross and materials used to create it rather than depicting an overly dramatic scene. Studying Diego Velázquez’s art prompts thought and introspection about faith and spirituality regardless of your beliefs.