“Removal from the Cross”, Jan Gossart (Mabuse) – a description of the picture

“Removal from the Cross”, Jan Gossart (Mabuse) – a description of the picture
“Removal from the Cross”, Jan Gossart (Mabuse) - a description of the picture - 1

  • Posted by Mabuz
  • Museum: Hermitage
  • Year: 1521

Description of the picture :

Withdrawal from the cross – Jan Gossart (Mabuz). Triptych, central part.

   The removal of Jesus from the cross, the main plot of the gospel, the description of which is in all four evangelists. And the painter Jan Gossart did not pass this topic.

   The artist is written in triptych. The central part is actually removing the body from the cross, currently located in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. Two side parts are stored at the Tolido Museum of Art, Ohio in the United States.

   Of course, the multi-figure central honor attracts the attention of the viewer, because this is the embodiment of the very essence of Christianity – the atonement of the original sin of mankind with the painful death of Jesus Christ.

   The whole composition, built by the author, is not entirely uniform and monolithic, it seems to “break apart” into several separate fragments-suckets.

   In the center up the stairs, the man carefully lowers the body, on the right half of the cross the disciple of Jesus Nicodemus supports the hand of his teacher. Standing below, at the foot of the cross, three men, among whom John the Theologian, are ready to accept a lifeless corpse. The faithful follower of Christ, Mary Magdalene, is depicted as her back, only the profile of her face is visible to the viewer.

   In the foreground on the right is Joseph of Arimathea, it is he who was given permission to remove the body from the cross. Joseph is a noble member of the Sanhedrin, a secret follower of Christ. In the picture, he is depicted raising a crown of thorns that was assigned to Jesus during the trial.

   In the foreground on the left is a lost consciousness, a pale Mother of God surrounded by holy wives, crying and breaking their hands.

   Mabuz built quite complex angles. But thanks to them, the painter was able to show his delightful skill, which he learned in Italy – the plastic and sculpture of figures, technically prescribed details. He likes to transfer Italian spirituality and Italian principles of painting to Dutch soil.

   Some art historians believe that Mabuz was carried away by Italian in this work, and did not attach much importance to making his characters look more lively and real. They find that the plot is a little arbitrary and theatrical.

   But viewers always stop with interest near this spectacular canvas. Indeed, in the picture, Mabyuz perfectly conveyed landscape, naturalistic clothing, household items. All this speaks of the Dutch roots of the great master, of his maintenance of the traditions of the Dutch school of painting.