Expression and Spectacle

Lucas Cranach the Elder, The Crucifixion, 1503

By Alte Pinakothek, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen

Alte Pinakothek, Bavarian State Painting Collections

The Crucifixion (1503) by Lucas Cranach the ElderOriginal Source: Object in the Online-Collection of the Pinakotheken

The Crucifixion is Cranach's first large altar painting.

It is an impressive demonstration of the thirty-one-year-old's creative genius and expressive temperament.

The figures found in traditional compositions of this subject have been rearranged to focus on the Virgin Mary...

...who Cranach presents as a paradigm of piety...

..., showing her devotion and pain at the sight of her son's suffering.

The perspectival foreshortening of the thief on the left...

... is spectacular.

The large loin-cloth worn by Christ...

... has been further developed into an ornament.

Credits: Story

© Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen

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