Lamentation by Albrecht Durer

Lamentation - Albrecht Durer -

Artwork Information

ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About Lamentation

“Lamentation” is a religious painting by Albrecht Dürer, a renowned artist of the Northern Renaissance. This artwork is part of Dürer’s series called “The Green Passion.” The series earned its name because the original panels were painted on a green ground. This particular piece reflects the themes and artistic innovation characteristic of the Northern Renaissance, drawing on religious inspiration to portray a scene of mourning and loss.

The artwork depicts a scene from the Christian narrative of the Passion, specifically the moment after the Crucifixion known as the Lamentation of Christ, where Christ’s body has been taken down from the cross and is mourned by his followers. In the foreground, the body of Christ is the central figure, lying lifeless and surrounded by grieving figures. On the right, Mary Magdalene is seen holding Christ’s feet, a traditional element in representations of the Lamentation. Another figure, likely the Virgin Mary, is shown kneeling and bent over in sorrow. To the left, several male figures look on, possibly representing the disciples or other followers of Christ. Behind them, the crosses used for the crucifixion are visible on a distant hill, further setting the scene. The intense emotion is captured with detailed expressions and body language. The composition, together with the meticulous fine line work, adds a deep sense of devotion and pathos to the scene.

The drawing is rendered in fine detail, demonstrating Dürer’s mastery of shading and line to create texture and depth. The use of chiaroscuro, the contrast between light and dark, accentuates the figures and brings a three-dimensional quality to the artwork. While the overall tone is somber, Dürer’s skill ensures that the viewer’s focus is drawn to the emotional gravity of the moment depicted.

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