Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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Christ Bearing the Cross
  • Albrecht Dürer
    born: Nuremberg, Holy Roman Empire (present-day Germany) ; died: Nuremberg, Holy Roman Empire (present-day Germany) ; active: Holy Roman Empire (prese
  • Christ Bearing the Cross
  • the Large Passion
  • Where object was made: Germany
  • woodcut
  • Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • Not on display
  • EL2012.039
  • 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
Dürer’s woodcut Large Passion transformed and transmitted inherited pictorial strategies developed by late medieval artists to convey the drama and anguish of Christ’s sacrifice. Executed between 1496 and 1499 and published again in 1511, this print served as a source for both Raphael’s painting, Lo Spasimo di Sicilia-copies of which can be seen in the reverse painting on glass and Agostino Veneziano’s engraving-and Vasari’s Christ Carrying the Cross. The soldier who turns his broad back toward the viewer is the forerunner of the muscled legionary in Vasari’s painting, and the emotionally loaded gaze that Veronica exchanges with Christ anticipates Vasari’s composition. The tight arrangement of Dürer’s woodcut, including the kneeling figure of Veronica, is derived from Schongauer’s small Christ Carrying the Cross (pictured above) (circa 1475 - 80). Thus, the visual lineage of the image demonstrates how Dürer functioned as an intermediary between the Northern European and Italian pictorial traditions.