Christ on the Cross with the Virgin and St John (1510) by Albrecht Durer

Christ on the Cross with the Virgin and St John - Albrecht Durer - 1510

Artwork Information

TitleChrist on the Cross with the Virgin and St John
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationBritish Museum, London, UK

About Christ on the Cross with the Virgin and St John

“Christ on the Cross with the Virgin and St John” is a woodcut by the renowned artist Albrecht Dürer, dated to 1510. As an influential work from the Northern Renaissance, this religious painting is part of the collection at the British Museum in London, UK. This artwork showcases Dürer’s masterful technique and attention to detail, which were hallmarks of the Northern Renaissance artistic movement.

The woodcut depicts a traditional scene of the Crucifixion, with Jesus Christ affixed to the cross. Above Christ’s head is the sign with the letters “INRI,” an abbreviation of the Latin phrase “Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum,” which means “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” On either side of Jesus, the figures of the Virgin Mary and St. John are present, both of whom are shown in a state of mourning. The Virgin Mary, on the left, is depicted with downcast eyes and a somber expression, her hands clasped in prayer or grief. St. John, on the right, looks compassionately towards Jesus, also displaying a facial expression of sorrow.

The background is filled with finely detailed trees, indicating the scene takes place outdoors, likely referencing the hill of Golgotha where the crucifixion is said to have occurred. The intricate linework is characteristic of woodcut printmaking, a medium in which Dürer excelled. The use of contrast between light and dark areas helps to add depth and dimension to the scene, despite the limitations of the black-and-white medium. The solemnity of the scene is conveyed through the posture and expressions of the figures, as well as the stark, bare surroundings that center the viewer’s attention on the crucifixion itself.

Other Artwork from Albrecht Durer

More Northern Renaissance Artwork

Scroll to Top