Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

Passio domini nostri Jesu Christi
  • Matthias Ringmann
    circa 1482–1511
    Urs Graf
    circa 1485–1527
    born: Solothurn, Switzerland ; died: Basel, Switzerland
  • Passio domini nostri Jesu Christi, 1508
  • Where object was made: Strasbourg, France
  • Not on display
  • EL2012.025
  • Loan: Not in the Spencer's collection
Label Text

Exhibition Label:
"Giorgio Vasari and Court Culture in Late Renaissance Italy," Sep-2012, Sally Cornelison and Susan Earle
The advent of the printing press in the mid-15th century made illustrated bibles and devotional tracts readily available to a pan-European public. While turning the pages of such texts, the faithful engaged in a devotional act that elicited empathy, encouraged compassion, and intensified prayer. Urs Graf, a prolific Swiss artist and mercenary soldier with a bad temper and questionable moral code, illustrated this Passion text and the slightly later one displayed next to it. For this book the artist produced twenty-five, nearly full-page woodcuts, all but five of which he signed “VG.” As Raphael and Vasari also did, Graf looked to Schongauer’s and Dürer’s prints for inspiration. This woodcut image’s landscape setting, depiction of a long, winding procession, and representation of the two conversing thieves, whose arms are bound behind their backs, are particularly indebted to Schongauer’s Large Bearing of the Cross on display in the previous room.