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Descent from the Cross

Descent from the Cross Philosophy World History Visual Arts

Rogier van der Weyden (1400-1464) created this famous painting around 1435.  It is an oil-on-oak panel, measuring 220 x 262 cm (86.61 x 103.15 inches).

Hoping that this work would provide him with an excellent reputation, van der Weyden achieved that objective.  It was widely copied, for many years, and a modern art critic - Erwin Panofsky (1892-1968) - said this of the work:

It may be said that the painted tear, a shining pearl born of the strongest emotion, epitomizes that which Italians most admired in Early Flemish painting:  pictorial brilliance and sentiment.  (Panofsky, Early Netherlandish Painting: Its Origins and Character, at page 258.)

The Greater Guild of Crossbowmen of Leuven (in today’s Belgium) commissioned van der Weyden to create this work.  It was originally placed in the Chapel of Our Lady Without the Walls.  Today it is owned by the Prado (in Madrid, Spain).

Click on the image for a much-better view.


Media Credits

Image, described above, online courtesy Web Gallery of Art.

PD

 

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