The Cross (c.1494 – 1497) by Albrecht Durer

The Cross - Albrecht Durer - c.1494 - 1497

Artwork Information

TitleThe Cross
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Datec.1494 - 1497
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance

About The Cross

“The Cross” by Albrecht Dürer, dated approximately between 1494 and 1497, is a significant religious painting from the Northern Renaissance period. It forms part of “The Seven Sorrows of Mary” series, which focuses on the theme of Christian religion.

The artwork portrays the biblical episode of Jesus carrying the cross on the way to his crucifixion, an event commemorated by Christians especially during Holy Week. In the painting, Jesus is depicted in the foreground, bending under the weight of the cross, looking upward with an expression of suffering and resignation. He wears a halo and is clothed in a flowing blue robe, highlighting his central role as the divine figure in the scene.

Surrounding Jesus are several figures, some of whom are traditionally identified as Roman soldiers and spectators of varying expressions and attitudes, possibly reflecting the mixed reactions of people who witnessed the event. The sorrow and empathy of Jesus’ followers are counterbalanced by the indifferent or hostile attitudes of the soldiers. The composition emphasizes the anguish and solemnity of the moment, featuring strong use of colors and detailed expressions which are characteristic of Dürer’s intricate style and the Northern Renaissance’s devotion to emotional realism and fine detail.

The surrounding environment includes a stone archway and a glimpse of a landscape in the background, with attention to naturalism that was another hallmark of the period, blending spiritual narrative with observations from the natural world.

Other Artwork from Albrecht Durer

More Northern Renaissance Artwork

Scroll to Top