Lamentation of Christ (c.1494 – 1497) by Albrecht Durer

Lamentation of Christ - Albrecht Durer - c.1494 - 1497

Artwork Information

TitleLamentation of Christ
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Datec.1494 - 1497
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About Lamentation of Christ

The artwork “Lamentation of Christ” by Albrecht Dürer, dating from around 1494 to 1497, is a notable piece from the Northern Renaissance period. It belongs to the religious painting genre and forms part of “The Seven Sorrows of Mary” series. The painting depicts a profound moment of grief and religious solemnity.

In the artwork, Christ lies at the foot of the cross immediately after being taken down from it, which is a moment traditionally known as the Deposition or Lamentation in Christian art. Mary, his mother, is shown cradling his head, her face anguished with sorrow. Surrounding figures express a range of emotional responses to the death of Christ, from weeping to prayerful reverence. The INRI sign, an acronym for the Latin “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum,” meaning “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews,” is placed atop the cross, indicating the charge against Jesus that led to his crucifixion.

Dürer’s mastery at capturing human emotion and his skillful blend of naturalism with the symbolic elements are evident. The details and textures in the painting, from the lifelike depiction of the figures to the landscape in the background, reflect the rich artistic traditions of the Northern Renaissance. The artist employs a delicate use of color and light to enhance the intensity of the scene and the spiritual significance it harbors.

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