Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Crucifixion

Workshop of Francisco de Zurbarán (Spanish, Fuente de Cantos 1598–1664 Madrid)
Oil on canvas
Arched top, 112 x 75 7/8 in. (284.5 x 192.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of George R. Hann, 1965
Accession Number:
Not on view
Inscription: Inscribed (in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin): IESVS NAZARENVS RE XIVDE / ORVM.
? Church of the Convento de San José, of the Merced Descalza, Seville (by 1786); Louis Philippe, King of France, Paris and Claremont, England (by 1838–d. 1850; his estate, 1850–53; cat., Galerie Espagnole, Louvre, 1838, no. 333; posthumous sale, Christie's, London, May 6ff., 1853, no. 145, for £31 to Hanmer); Sir John Hanmer, 3rd Baronet, Bettisfield Park, Whitchurch, Cheshire (1853–d. 1881); Hanmer family, Bettisfield Park (1881–1922; inv., 1885); Sir Griffin Wyndham Edward Hanmer, 7th Baronet (from 1922; ?sold to Bellesi); [Giuseppe Bellesi, London, by 1936–37; sold to Douglas]; [R. Langton Douglas, London, 1937; stockbook no. 431, sold for $3,000 to Hamilton]; Carl W. Hamilton, New York (1937–42; sold to Hann); George R. Hann, Sewickly, Pennsylvania (1942–65)
Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas. "Grandes Maestros," November 5–December 17, 1967, no. 14.

Antonio Ponz. Viage de España. Vol. 9, Trata de Sevilla. 2nd ed. Madrid, 1786, pp. 108–9, mentions a life-size Crucifixion presumed to be by Zurbarán in an interior room of the Iglesia del Convento de S. Joseph belonging to the Religiosos Mercenarios Descalzos (possibly this picture), but does not list it among secure attributions to Zurbarán in the church.

D. Juan Agustín Ceán Bermúdez. Diccionario histórico de los más ilustres profesores de las bellas artes en España. Madrid, 1800, vol. 6, p. 49, cites a life-size Crucifixion by Zurbarán in the sacristy of the church of the Mercenarios Descalzos [possibly our picture].

Notice des tableaux de la Galerie Espagnole exposés dans les salles du Musée Royal au Louvre. Paris, 1838, 1st ed., no. 333; 3rd ed., no. 343, as Zurbarán, "Le Christ sur la Croix, Haut. 2m. 85c.–Larg. 1m. 89c.".

Pictures, Bettisfield Park. [1885], p. 52, listed as a Crucifixion by Zurbarán from Louis Philippe's private collection, bought by Sir John Hanmer.

Justino Matute. "Adiciones y correcciones de D. Justino Matute al tomo IX del Viaje de España de D. Antonio Ponz." Archivo hispalense 3 (1887), p. 381, notes that the Christ which Ponz locates in an interior room of the Convent of Saint Joseph was actually in the sacristy.

Manuel Gómez Ímaz. Inventario de los cuadros sustraídos por el gobierno intruso en Sevilla el año de 1810. Seville, 1896, unpaginated, the Inventario de las pinturas que existen en el Real Palacio de Sevilla, lists it as no. 10, in the sala baja no. 1, "originales de Zurbarán...un quadro de 4 1/2 vs. de alto y 2 1/2 de ancho, Cristo crucificado" [one vara equals about 2.8 ft.].

August L. Mayer. "Anotaciones a cuadros de Velázquez, Zurbarán, Murillo y Goya, en el Prado y en la Academia de San Fernando." Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Excursiones 44 (1936), p. 43, identifies this painting, then in the collection of Giuseppe Bellesi, London, with no. 333 of the Galerie Espagnole.

Paul Guinard. "Los conjuntos dispersos o desaparecidos de Zurbarán: anotaciones a Ceán Bermúdez (II)." Archivo español de arte 79 (July–September 1947), pp. 183–84, identifies this picture with no. 333 of the Galerie Espagnole and feels it was probably the Crucifixion listed as no. 10 in the 1810 inventory; considers it very likely that Baron Taylor bought it in 1835 when he purchased a series of smaller pictures from the Merced Descalza; publishes a lithograph made after our painting (with some differences) by Pinçon in 1850.

August L. Mayer. Historia de la pintura española. 3rd ed. Madrid?, 1947, p. 335, see [Ref. Guinard, 1960, p. 221, no. 112].

Paul Guinard. Zurbarán et les peintres espagnols de la vie monastique. Paris, 1960, pp. 197, 221, no. 112, is unaware of the painting's present location; describes it as having a chiaroscuro landscape with edifices of Jerusalem [there is such a landscape in the background of Pinçon's lithograph]; comments that it probably came from the sacristy of the Merced Descalza, Seville.

Paul Guinard. "Zurbarán en France." Revista de estudios extremeños 17 (1961), p. 370, cites it in a list of pictures bought by Taylor, incorrectly as in the Hamilton collection.

José López-Rey. Letter. May 12, 1969, states that the painting cannot reasonably be attributed to Zurbarán, but that an attribution to his workshop or to one of his followers would be tenable; believes there is no indication that Guinard (Ref. 1960) saw the Hamilton painting, and, pointing out that there is a landscape in the background of the 1850 lithograph, but none here, casts doubt on the identification of our painting as the one from the Galerie Espagnole.

Ilse Hempel Lipschutz. Spanish Painting and the French Romantics. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 133, 224 [no. 333], p. 303 [no. 10], publishes the 1810 Alcázar inventory and the inventory of the Galerie Espagnole, 1st. ed., 1838, but does not establish present locations for any pictures.

Tiziana Frati. L'opera completa di Zurbarán. Milan, 1973, p. 100, no. 188, traces the history of the painting's ownership, mentioning Guinard's proposal that it came originally from the Merced Descalza.

Anthony M. Clark in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1965–1975. New York, 1975, p. 85, ill.

María Luisa Caturla. Letter to Elizabeth Gardner. January 20, 1976, calls it a repetition by Zurbarán's workshop, observing that the artist's earlier Crucifixions are convulsed, while the serene Christ dates from about 1640; states that there is no real proof that the picture was at the Merced Descalza.

Nigel Glendinning. Letter to Elizabeth Gardner. January 23, 1976, feels this picture almost certainly came from Zurbarán's studio but is not entirely sure that it was all the work of Zurbarán himself; observes that it seems closely related to the Crucifixion in the Museo Provincial, Seville.

Xavier de Salas. Letter to Elizabeth Gardner. February 9, 1976, considers it one of the variants by Zurbarán and his workshop.

Eric Young. Letter to Elizabeth Gardner. January 27, 1976, judges from a photograph that the painting is largely studio work, with perhaps some intervention by Zurbarán himself; notes that the Alcázar inventory measurements suggest that the picture was cut down during the last century, especially in height, and most likely at the bottom; presumes that the rounded top is a modern modification.

Marcus B. Burke. Letter. February 16, 1976, argues that this Crucifixion and one in the Seville Museum (no. 166) were probably produced in Zurbarán's workshop, noting that the picture in Seville is labeled as such by the Museum.

José Gudiol in Julián Gállego and José Gudiol. Zurbarán, 1598–1664. New York, 1977, p. 99, no. 263, as from the Monastery of San José, Seville; catalogue it with works by Zurbarán probably painted between 1631 and 1640.

Denys Sutton. "Robert Langton Douglas, Part III, XVII: Dramatic Days." Apollo, n.s., 109 (June 1979), p. 469, fig. 32, ascribes it to Zurbarán.

Jeannine Baticle et. al. Zurbarán. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1987, pp. 30, 35 n. 44, as "at one time most likely in the sacristy of the Merced Descalza, Seville".

Virginia Marqués Ferrer in Francisco de Zurbarán, 1598–1664. Exh. cat., Centro Cultural la General. Granada, 1999, p. 145.

Jeannine Baticle. Zurbarán ante su centenario [1598–1998]: Textos de la ponencias presentadas en el Seminario de Historia de Arte en Soria. Ed. Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez. Valladolid, 1999, p. 188.

Old Master & British Paintings. Sotheby's, London. December 9, 2009, p. 40, under no. 11.

This picture is inscribed at top center in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. The Latin text translates as: "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." Nowhere in the early literature about this picture is it described as having an arched top. Eric Young (1976) is inclined to see this as a modern modification. Claudio Rigosi, however, who restored the painting in 1970, seemed to regard the arched format as original. Added strips at the bottom and added corners on top (to fit into Carl Hamilton's frame, see Provenance) were removed when the painting was cleaned and restored in 1971.
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