Christ Carrying the Cross

Jan Gossart (called Mabuse) Netherlandish

Not on view

Gossart played a leading role in introducing the culture of the Italian Renaissance into Netherlandish painting. Here, the complex pose of the figure of Christ seems inspired by the famous Roman sculpture of Laocoön and his sons. Excavated in 1506 and seen by Gossart during his trip to Rome in 1508, it was widely admired for its expressivity. Gossart’s painting thus gives an antique accent to the traditional image of Christ carrying his cross on his route to Golgotha, the place of his crucifixion (Jerusalem is in the background). The picture was intended for private meditation on Christ’s suffering and can be linked to popular devotional texts of the time, such as Thomas à Kempis’s Imitation of Christ (ca. 1420).

Christ Carrying the Cross, Jan Gossart (called Mabuse) (Netherlandish, Maubeuge ca. 1478–1532 Antwerp (?)), Oil on oak

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