The Cross of Christ (1504) by Albrecht Durer

The Cross of Christ - Albrecht Durer - 1504

Artwork Information

TitleThe Cross of Christ
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationAlbertina, Vienna, Austria

About The Cross of Christ

“The Cross of Christ” is a religious painting by Albrecht Dürer, a prominent figure of the Northern Renaissance, completed in 1504. This artwork forms part of “The Green Passion” series and can be found at the Albertina museum in Vienna, Austria. The piece reflects the religious and artistic fervor of its era, showcasing Dürer’s mastery in conveying spiritual themes through art.

The artwork depicted in the image appears to be a grayscale representation of Christ’s crucifixion, with several figures engaged in the scene. The central element is the cross, dominating the composition vertically. At the top, a figure can be seen affixing the title to the cross, likely Pontius Pilate’s inscription “INRI” (Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews). The body of Christ is limply hanging, indicating that this moment captures the aftermath of the crucifixion. Around the cross are several mourners and perhaps followers of Christ, their poses and expressions conveying sorrow and devotion. Notably, there’s a figure at the bottom left who seems to be Mary Magdalene, based on iconographic traditions, with her attention directed towards the body of Christ. To the right at the bottom, we see a ladder, which might have been used for the descent from the cross, a soldier’s helmet, and a crown of thorns, elements that further emphasize the narrative of crucifixion and mourning. The overall atmosphere is somber and intense, inviting contemplation on the depicted biblical event.

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