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Lamentation over the Body of Christ

A work made of oil on panel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on panel.


c. 1500


Gerard David
Netherlandish, c. 1460–1523

About this artwork

In this painting, the Virgin Mary, Saint John the Evangelist, and Saint Mary Magdalene grieve over the body of Christ while displaying it to the viewer. Although Gerard David and earlier Netherlandish painters often treated the Lamentation as a private devotional subject, this panel was part of a large altarpiece devoted to Saint Anne, the mother of the Virgin. It was made in Gerard David’s Bruges workshop for export to Spain. Lamentation over the Body of Christ formed the center of a row of narrative scenes supporting the superstructure of the altarpiece following Spanish convention. Parts of the altarpiece are now divided between museums in Washington, D.C.; Toledo, Ohio; and Edinburgh, Scotland. In the years around 1500, Gerard David was the leading painter working in Bruges, a Flemish city with a distinguished history as a center of trade and artistic production.


On View, Gallery 202


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Gerard David


Lamentation over the Body of Christ


Netherlands (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on panel


Inscribed: REGHE (on the Magdalene’s ointment jar)


55.1 × 62.8 cm (21 1/2 × 24 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection

Reference Number


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