Art/ Collection/ Art Object


late 17th–early 18th century
possibly German or Netherlandish
Figures: ivory; crosses and base: ebony
Height (.182a, with cross): 21 1/8 in. (53.7 cm); Height (.182a, figure only): 8 1/2 in. (21.6 cm); Height (.182b, with cross): 20 1/8 in. (51.1 cm); Height (.182b, figure only): 8 in. (20.3 cm); Height (.182c, with cross): 20 1/8 in. (51.1 cm); Height (.182c, figure only): 8 1/8 in. (20.6 cm); Height (.182d): 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm); Height (.182e): 6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm); Height (.182f): 7 1/2 in. (19.1 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1950
Accession Number:
Not on view
Calvary was the hill outside Jerusalem where Christ was crucified. Here, the traditional group of the Virgin, the Magdalen, and Saint John includes the Good and Bad Thieves. The suffering expressed in the contorted poses would have aided in the viewer's efforts at private devotion. In an unusual iconographic touch, the Virgin kneels at the foot of the cross, a place usually reserved for the Magdalen, who is shown in a posture more typical of the Mourning Virgin. The bearded Saint John is also uncommon, as is the Oriental (Turkish?) hairstyle of the thief at the left. The distinctive carving style produced delicate but highly expressive features on comparatively small heads set against broad, flat classical draperies and heavy bodies with unusually stout wrists and ankles.
Inscription: Inscribed on ivory scroll above head of Christ: I•N•R•I•
Joseph Brummer , New York ; [ Blumka Gallery , New York, until 1950; sold to MMA ]
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