Design for a Silver Vessel with Scenes from the Passion of Christ

Artist: Paulus Willemsz. van Vianen (Netherlandish, Utrecht ca. 1570–ca. 1613/14 Prague)

Date: ca. 1600

Medium: Black chalk, pen and brown ink and brown wash

Dimensions: 5 9/16 x 8 9/16 in. (14.1 x 21.7 cm), oval.

Classifications: Drawings, Ornament & Architecture

Credit Line: Edward Pearce Casey Fund, 2000

Accession Number: 2000.581


This design for an oval dish beautifully illustrates that Paulus van Vianen was not only a goldsmith, but also an excellent designer and draftsman. The dish has a religious theme with four compartments containing scenes from the Passion of Christ. From left to right and top to bottom are depicted: The Capture of Christ; Ecce Homo; The Crucifixion; The Resurrection. Van Vianen has further decorated the dish with angels, cherubs and trophies containing the so-called Arma Christi. Where parts have been left empty on the left side, we can assume Van Vianen intended a repetition of those motifs seen on the right. Unknown is what was to be depicted in the center of the dish.