About this artwork
In this crowded scene, traditional vignettes from the Crucifixion story surround the central figure of Jesus Christ on the cross. Jesus’s mother, the Virgin Mary, swoons amid a group of believers in the lower left corner. On the other side of the cross are Christ’s condemners and the cynics who rejected him, among them the soldiers who cast dice to divide up his clothing. Cranach was a good friend of the Protestant reformer Martin Luther, and though the Crucifixion was a subject more strongly associated with Catholics, Cranach included details that reinforce the Protestant emphasis on the power of faith and individual responsibility—for instance, the figure of the young boy learning from an older man at the foot of the central cross.
- Lucas Cranach, the Elder
- The Crucifixion
- Oil on panel
- Inscribed: device of serpent with lowered wings and 153 (on cross)
- 47 3/4 × 32 1/2 in. (121.1 × 82.5 cm); painted surface: 47 × 32 1/2 in. (119.4 × 82.5 cm)
- Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection