The Deposition

Object Details


The Deposition


Follower of Rogier van der Weyden (Netherlandish, 1399/1400 - 1464)




about 1490


Oil on panel


61 x 99.7 cm (24 x 39 1/4 in.)

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Two of Christ's followers, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, carry his body from the cross to the tomb. Mary, his mother, kneels and pulls her son's face close to hers for one last moment, while Mary Magdalene kneels tearfully at his feet in splendid brocaded robes. Death has transformed Christ's green-tinged, rigid body in horrific detail: his hands are clenched into agonized claws, bloody scars from his Crown of Thorns dot his forehead, and his wounds are graphically evident.

The artist, a follower of Rogier van der Weyden, based this painting on Weyden's altarpiece, now in the Prado in Madrid. As Weyden did, this artist described faces, fabrics, and objects in great detail and arranged the figures as though in a frieze. The shallow space is further limited by the use of the gold-stippled background.

- 1888

Josef Karl Ritter von Klinkosch, died 1888 (Vienna, Austria), upon is death, held in trust by the estate.

1888 - 1889

Estate of Josef Karl Ritter von Klinkosch, died 1888 [sold, Klinkosch sale, Miethke, Vienna, March 2, 1889, lot 16, to Alois Spitzer.]

1889 - 1906

Dr. Alois Spitzer (Vienna, Austria) [sold, Spitzer sale, Wawra, Vienna, January 24, 1906, lot 142.]

Ehrendorfer (Vienna, Austria)

- 1978

Private Collection [sold, Sotheby's, London, December 13, 1978, lot 33, to David Carritt, Ltd., and P & D Colnaghi & Co., Ltd., London]

1978 - 1979

David Carritt, Ltd. (London, England; New York, New York)

1978 - 1979

and P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., Ltd., London, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1979.

Education Resources

Education Resource




Rembrandt and Rubens Painting the Revolution

Lesson in which students study the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter Reformation, analyzing works by Rubens and Rembrandt.

Visual Arts; History–Social Science


Two-Part Lesson

Related Media
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    Audio: The Deposition (Angels and Demons)