Philippe de Champaigne

Christ on the Cross

c. 1655-1660
Compared with most other representations of the Crucifixion in the Gallery's collection, the treatment here is stark: the sky is sombre and the fortifications of Jerusalem cold and impenetrable. The viewer is confronted with an isolated image of the dying Christ, placed close to the picture plane, head slumped forward in exhaustion, but with the halo and the legs still supporting the weight of the body suggesting life. The artist, who primarily painted religious subjects and portraits of the clergy, was closely associated with the austere Jansenist movement in Paris, which favoured the use of a nail in each foot for Crucifixion images.
Title
Christ on the Cross
Date
c. 1655-1660
Medium
Painting
Materials
oil on canvas
Dimensions
84.3 x 63.3 cm
Nationality
French
Credit line
Purchased 1977
Accession number
18796