The Deposition

Franz Caspar Sambach1782

Muzeul Național Brukenthal

Muzeul Național Brukenthal
Sibiu, Romania

The painting was inspired by the central piece of a triptych, The Deposition (1616 – 1617), painted by Peter Paul Rubens, for the Cathedral of Antwerp and it is, in fact, a copy of one of Donner’s lost works, probably a bronze relief or a sketch, pertaining to it. In spite of the religious subject, Sambach concentrates on the expressive force of a thoroughly realistic scene, noticeable in the precise anatomic study of the muscle structure, the lifelike postures of the characters and the acutely captured expression of Joseph of Arimatheea. The colours are subdued, the human figures are represented in shades of grey, combined with yellow and brown; light is depicted in tones of gold, setting off the details of the group of characters in the foreground and delimiting them from the figures of the Virgin Mary and of John, in the background, at the same time hinting at the metallic reflexes of the relief. The painting is signed C. Sambach f.(ecit), lower right and dated 1782. ©Dana Roxana Hrib, European Art Gallery Guidebook, Second edition, Sibiu 2011.

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  • Title: The Deposition
  • Creator: Franz Caspar Sambach
  • Date: 1782
  • Physical Dimensions: w52 x h99 cm (Without frame)
  • Photo copyright: ©Christof Weber
  • Collecting: Brukenthal National Museum, Sibiu, Romania
  • Artist Biography: Sambach was born in Breslau (Wrocław, in Poland), and studied under Raphael Donner in Vienna, following an early artistic apprenticeship in his native city. In 1759, he was admitted to the Academy of Art, in Vienna; he was appointed Professor of Architecture at the same institution in 1762 and Head of the Department of Painting and Sculpture, of the same school in 1779. He also exhibited a keen interest in mathematics and optics. In art, he was a promoter of Late Austrian Baroque and of the Rococo. After he had to give up sculpture, on grounds of ill health, he painted reproductions of relief carvings, his favourite models being Donner’s works. ©Dana Roxana Hrib, European Art Gallery Guidebook, Second edition, Sibiu 2011.
  • Provenance: Brukenthal National Museum
  • Type: painting
  • Medium: oil on canvas