Descent from the Cross


Museu de São Roque

Museu de São Roque
Lisboa, Portugal

The painting features the body of Christ being removed or taken down from the cross after his crucifixion and death, being the scene composed entirely by nine figures; at the centre Christ crucified, surrounded by the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, Mary the wife of Cleopas, the Apostle St. John, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus and two other anonymous male figures. This painting has been attributed to André Gonçalves (1685-1754), as being a copy of the triptych alterpiece of the Antwerp Cathedral, commissioned to Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), in 1611, by the Harquebusiers Guild (paramilitary league, largely ceremonial, very popular in the Netherlands). By observing the oil study with the same subject made by Rubens, there are clear similarities with this work of the Museum of São Roque, which leads to the hypothesis that this is a copy of the refered study and not from the final work by Rubens. It was probably executed at the end of the 17th century, beginning of the 18th century, by one of the followers of the Flemish master.


  • Title: Descent from the Cross
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Creator Lifespan: Unknown
  • Date: 1600
  • Physical Dimensions: w65 x h78 cm
  • Provenance: Museu de São Roque/Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Museu de São Roque/Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa
  • External Link: Museu de São Roque/Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa
  • Medium: Oil on wood
  • Manufactured: Flanders (?), Country

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