Artist: Hendrick ter Brugghen (Dutch, The Hague? 1588–1629 Utrecht)
Date: ca. 1624–25
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 61 x 40 1/4 in. (154.9 x 102.2 cm)
Credit Line: Funds from various donors, 1956
Accession Number: 56.228
This powerful image was probably painted for a Catholic "hidden church" in Ter Brugghen’s city of Utrecht, where Catholicism was tolerated but not encouraged. The artist, a Protestant, recaptures the devotional intensity of earlier German and Dutch altarpieces in his stark composition and in the angular figure of Christ. However, the rhythmic draperies, convincing volumes, and folkish figures of Mary and John recall Ter Brugghen’s experience of Caravaggio in Rome. The color combinations and hypnotic light are very much his own.