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The Entombment of Christ

Alessandro Magnascoc.1725-27

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery

"This small bozetto exists in several versions, although the finished altarpiece it relates to remains untraced. It has been attributed to a variety of painters in the past, including Agostino Carracci, Andrea Sacchi and Salvator Rosa, of whom Magnasco was a follower.

Magnasco was a Genoese painter who favoured dramatic landscapes, forcefully rendered, often featuring furious storms. Although the scene shown here is fairly conventional, the artist favoured unusual subjects, including gatherings of robbers, and the interrogations of the Inquisition."

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  • Title: The Entombment of Christ
  • Date: c.1725-27
  • Physical Dimensions: w339 x h543 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Notes: The composition is repeated in a number of 'sketches' by or derived from Magnasco, of which the strongest appears to be that formerly with the Galerie Sanct Lukas, Vienna, dated 1725-7 by L. Muti and D. de Sarno Prignano. Murray, 1980a, p. 82, writes: 'This small bozzetto for an unknown altarpiece exists in several versions. Formerly attributed to a variety of painters including Agostino Carracci, A. M. Fabrizzi, Sacchi, and Salvator Rosa, it is a version of the composition known from examples in a private collection in Cardiff; one in Genoa formerly with the Newhouse Galleries, New York, and another with a dealer in Vienna, related to a Crucifixion in the Akademie, Vienna.'
  • Work Nationality: Italian
  • Support: Canvas
  • Provenance: London, Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1811; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811 (as by Agostino Carracci, later changed to A. Sacchi).
  • Further Information: In this dramatic rendering of Christ’s Entombment, the viewer feels themselves present in the moment itself—we see the three crosses in the distance, where Christ and the two thieves have just been crucified, while in the lower left corner we see the edge of Christ’s sarcophagus, where he is about to be place. Though the action itself is limited, Magnasco is able to narrate the key events of Christ’s passion in a single image.
  • Attributed to: Magnasco, Alessandro
  • Acquisition Method: Bourgeois, Sir Peter Francis (Bequest, 1811)

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