About this artwork
In this crowded scene, traditional vignettes from the Crucifixion story surround the central figure of Christ on the cross. The swooning Virgin Mary and other believers are represented at Christ’s right hand. On the other, less-favored 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. Although Lucas Cranach the Elder was a friend of Martin Luther and a firm supporter of the Reformation, his highly successful workshop produced altarpieces for both Protestant and Catholic patrons. In this painting, probably used as an altarpiece, the artist does not take a stand in the doctrinal struggle that grew out of Luther’s preaching and writing beginning in 1517.
- 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