Painting “Removal from the Cross”, Rubens, 1612

Painting “Removal from the Cross”, Rubens, 1612
Painting "Removal from the Cross", Rubens, 1612 - 1

  • Posted by Peter Paul Rubens
  • Museum: Cathedral of the Antwerp Mother of God
  • Year: 1612

Description of the picture :

Cross removal – Peter Paul Rubens, 1612. Wood, butter. 420.5×320 cm

   The Triptych “Dreaming from the Cross” was created by the great Flemish Peter Paul Rubens for the cathedral of his hometown of Antwerp, while, starting in 1610, he wrote, for the most part, on religious topics. In addition, the triptych “Cross Movement” and many others also apply to the same period. With this truly landmark work, Rubens declares himself as a completely original artist, but still under some influence from the great Italian masters and teachers – Caravaggio and Jacopo Tintoretto.

   The picture rivets its eyes from the first moment – the figure of Christ, who fell on his shoulder with the displacement of his body and as if stopped for one brief moment before falling into the hands of the Apostle John. According to the author’s plan, the put to death body of the Son of God is lead gray, like a marble statue, against a bright and white background of a buried shroud, “caught” in bright red, life-affirming clothes of his beloved student, John.

   The elder standing on the stairs and already losing his balance, as if soaring up, had already released the body from his hands, and the second elder, Joseph of Arimatheus, still held the Savior by his hand.

   The kneeling Mary Magdalene is ready to accept the feet of Jesus, the very legs of the Master that she recently wiped with her hair and lubricated with incense.

   With a white face like a shroud, the Mother of God stands, extending his hand to the Son to receive it. Her suffering is understandable and close to everyone who loves Christ.

   Despite all the realistic “heavyness” of what is happening, there is no ostentatious “dramatism” in the picture, there are no theater screams, gestures, and there are not even tears. Feeling the influence of Caravaggio, with his sharp contrast of light and shadow, Rubens in his work is still freed from “imposing Italians” and writes a palette of light gray, pink-green and amber colors in female figures, and more traditional red and fucking men.

   The composition of the central part of the triptych is diagonally built: from right to left and from above – down. The dark background of the outgoing day contrasts with the bright, white-red spot of the central figures – Christ, the Apostle John, the head and hands of Maria Magdalina. The environment around Jesus Christ forms a harmonious, interconnected, solemn action. At the bottom of the picture, in the foreground in the right corner, as symbols of Christ’s suffering are depicted: a page from Scripture, washed nails and a crown of thorns in a basin of water.

   Before us is the most magnificent of the religious works created by Rubens, glorifying him as a singer of true Christian values.