The Crucifixion

Bartolomé Estebán Murillo Spanish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 624

This oil sketch helped Murillo to prepare a large painting that is today in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. The artist’s characteristic smoky atmosphere, achieved through rough paint handling and masterful distribution of light, creates an ideal image for devout meditation at this small scale: the sun has set, the cloudy sky is streaked with moonlight, Christ’s body falls limp, and Jerusalem can be seen in the dim distance. This intimate canvas is possibly the same "little Crucifixion" owned by Sebastián Martínez (1747–1800), whose portrait by Goya is also in The Met collection.

The Crucifixion, Bartolomé Estebán Murillo (Spanish, Seville 1617–1682 Seville), Oil on canvas

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