Crucifixion (1495 – 1498) by Albrecht Durer

Crucifixion - Albrecht Durer - 1495 - 1498

Artwork Information

ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Date1495 - 1498
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationBritish Museum, London, UK

About Crucifixion

Albrecht Dürer’s “Crucifixion” is a woodcut dating from 1495 to 1498, which can be found in the British Museum in London. This artwork belongs to the Northern Renaissance art movement and is a religious painting, capturing the profound Biblical scene of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.

The artwork depicts a highly detailed and complex scene centered around the crucified figure of Jesus Christ. Jesus is positioned in the middle of the composition with the INRI sign above his head, a detail commonly found in depictions of the crucifixion, referring to the Latin inscription which translates to “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews.” To his left and right are the two thieves who were crucified alongside him, depicted in anguished poses. Divine intervention is represented by angels surrounding the crucified figures, some in sorrow and others collecting the holy blood.

Below the central scene, a group of figures is depicted, likely representing the grieving Virgin Mary supported by John the Apostle and other women, expressing despair and mourning. In the background, a detailed landscape includes a cityscape, suggesting the event’s placement near Jerusalem. The amount of emotion and physical detail Dürer managed to convey in the medium of woodcut, with its stark contrast of black and white, demonstrates his mastery as an artist. The use of intricate lines to create texture, depth, and shading gives the scene a dramatic intensity and helps to engage the viewer with the narrative of the artwork.

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