Christ's friends have taken his body down from the cross and have brought it to his mother. She sinks to her knees, supported in her grief by St John, and accompanied by two holy women. The scene is one of horror and desolation, expressed through such details as the pale, skull-like faces and the barren landscape. The Dutch painter of this 'Lamentation' is not known by name, but his work is so distinctive in style that a group of paintings can be firmly attributed to him. Of these, the 'Lamentation' is perhaps his masterpiece. Many Dutch paintings were destroyed in the religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries, and so surviving works such as this are all the more precious.


  • Title: Lamentation over the Dead Christ
  • Creator: Master of the Virgo inter Virgines
  • Creator Lifespan: Active 1480-1495
  • Creator Nationality: Netherlandish
  • Creator Death Place: The Netherlands
  • Creator Birth Place: The Netherlands
  • Date Created: 1486/1487
  • tag / style: Death of Christ; landscape, austere; lamentation; Virgo inter Virgines; William Roscoe; Virgin Mary; St John; Pieta; ladder; sorrow; grief; mourning; Bible religious; devotional
  • Physical Dimensions: w5630 x h5520 cm (Without frame)
  • Artwork History: This painting was once in the collection of William Roscoe. Roscoe (1753-1831) was a successful Liverpool lawyer and Radical politician who campaigned aginst the slave trade, and whose interests included history, poetry, botany, languages and art. Remarkably, he was, on the whole, a self-educated man. To find out more about Roscoe, please follow this link: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/online/collectors/williamroscoe.asp
  • Artist biographical information: The Master of the Virgo inter Virgines was a North Netherlandish painter and designer of woodcuts active around Delft between 1483 and 1498.
  • Additional artwork information: To learn more about the Walker Art Gallery’s 13th-16th century collection, please follow this link: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/collections/13c-16c/
  • Type: Oil on wood panel
  • Rights: Presented by Liverpool Royal Institution in 1948

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