collection
oilpainting: 323 cm x 265 cm
S-52

The Crucifixion by Maarten van Heemskerck comes from the convent of the Rich Clares in Ghent. Various aspects of the Passion have been brought together here in one scene. The crucified Christ hangs high above the crowd, between the good and the bad murderers. One soldier raises up a sponge soaked in vinegar to quench Jesus thirst, while another looks up in awe at the dying man. In the right foreground soldiers cast dice for Jesus clothes. On the left we see Mary swoon in the arms of the apostle John. At the foot of the cross Mary Magdalene is overcome with grief as she gazes up at the Messiah. The donor, wearing a priests surplice, kneels in the foreground on the left. His identity is not known. The beautifully executed horses in the background are not based on nature studies but on sketches Maarten van Heemskerck made of classical sculptures when he visited Italy from 1532 to 1535.