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  • Calvary (Triptych)

    Artist:
    Heemskerck, Maarten van. 1498-1574
    Technique:
    oil on canvas mounted on panel
    Dimensions:
    100,7x86,3 cm

Heemskerck, Maarten van. 1498-1574

Calvary (Triptych)

Netherlands, Between 1545 and 1550

Heemskerk, one of the leading Italianizing artists in 16th-century Netherlandish painting, here included all the elements of the scene as described in the texts of the Gospels. Depicted are the dark sky indicating the eclipse of the sun at the moment of Christ's death; Adam's skull on Calvary; the sign saying INRI (Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews), attached to the cross by Pontius Pilate's order; the blind Longinus piercing Christ's side with his spear; a cane with a sponge with vinegar which was offered to Christ. The complex multi-figure composition is built along the Renaissance principles of symmetry and balanced forms. Rising up in the centre is the cross with the crucified Christ, while to his sides are the figures of the two criminals, twisted in agony. In the foreground of the central panel we see the soldiers casting lots for Jesus's tunic, and the Virgin fainting from grief into the arms of St John. The side panels show the man who commissioned the altar (left panel), his wife and daughter (right) and their patron saints. The stressed muscularity of the naked bodies, the sharp turns and foreshortening of the figures, the dynamic contrasts of light and shade and the twisting lines are all evidence of just how strongly Heemskerk was influenced by Michelangelo.

Title:

Calvary (Triptych)

Place:

Technique:

oil on canvas mounted on panel

Dimensions:

100,7x86,3 cm

Place of finding:

.

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1811; acquired by the French intermediary D. Vivant Denon in Paris

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-415

Category:

Collection:

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