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The Crucifixion

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

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  • A work made of oil on panel.




Lucas Cranach the Elder (German, 1472 (?)–1553)

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.


On View, Gallery 207


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Lucas Cranach, the Elder


The Crucifixion


Germany (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: device of serpent with lowered wings and 153[8] (on cross)


121.1 × 82.5 cm (47 3/4 × 32 1/2 in.); Framed: 147.4 × 109 × 7.7 cm (58 × 42 7/8 × 3 in.)

Credit Line

Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection

Reference Number


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