The Crucifixion

The Crucifixion

about 1395
Artist
British artist
Country
England
painting
Tempera and oil paint with gilded tin relief on oak panel
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust
2020.7

British artist 
The Crucifixion, about 1395
Tempera and oil paint with gilded tin relief on oak panel 
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2020.7

Dimensions
image height: 39 7/8 in, 101.2825 cm; image width: 21 1/2 in, 54.6100 cm; frame height: 42 in, 106.6800 cm; frame width: 24 3/8 in, 61.9125 cm; frame depth: 2 3/4 in, 6.985 cm
Inscription
[scroll, upper left] memento:mei:dne (Remember me Lord); [scroll, upper right] vere:filium:dei:erat:iste (Truly this was the son of God)
Department
European and American Art Before 1900
Collection
European Painting and Sculpture before 1900

This picture of the Crucifixion of Jesus dates from a time when England was Roman Catholic. It is one of very few paintings to survive the widespread destruction of religious imagery following Henry VIII’s establishment of the Church of England. Painted on a panel of oak wood, its small size suggests it was made as an altarpiece for a private chapel or for personal devotion. Jesus is shown nailed to the cross, wearing a crown of thorns. In the foreground at left is the Virgin Mary, her swooning body supported by one of the Holy Women. Behind the Virgin the beardless figure of St. John the Evangelist gazes up at Jesus while reaching out to support Mary. In the foreground at right stands a Roman centurion, depicted as a fashionable fourteenth-century gentleman. The picture was painted in the International Style, so named because of its wide popularity throughout Europe and England in the late Middle Ages. The elegant, refined style was characterized by slender, graceful figures and attention to luxurious materials – fabrics, jewels, and gold.

Known Provenance
Claude Lafontaine, Paris; sale, Paris, Palais Galliera, April 11, 1962, lot 5 (as Spanish School, fifteenth century); bought by Arthur Kauffmann, London; by whom sold to M. H. Drey, London; private collection, Germany; with Eckard Lingenauber Kunsthandel, Düsseldorf, Germany; by whom consigned to Sotheby’s, London, July 3, 1997, lot 53; from which acquired by William M. B. Berger and Bernadette Johnson Berger, Denver; Berger Collection Educational Trust; gifted to the Denver Art Museum, 2020. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum and we will post information as it becomes available. Please e-mail provenance@denverartmuseum.org, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.
Exhibition History
  • “Treasures from the Berger Collection: British Paintings 1400-2000” — Denver Art Museum, 10/2/2014 – 9/9/2018

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