The J. Paul Getty Museum

The Entombment

Object Details

Title:

The Entombment

Artist/Maker:

Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577 - 1640)

Culture:

Flemish

Date:

about 1612

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Object Number:

93.PA.9

Dimensions:

131.1 × 130.2 cm (51 5/8 × 51 1/4 in.)

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Object Description

Peter Paul Rubens depicted the moment after the Crucifixion and before the Resurrection when Christ is placed into the tomb. He is being supported by those closest to him in life: John the Evangelist, in a brilliant red robe, bears the weight of Christ; Mary Magdalene cries in the background; while Mary, the mother of James the Younger and Joseph, bows her head in sorrow. Mary, the mother of Christ, cradles his head and looks heavenward for divine intercession.

The Entombment was meant to make the viewer's religious experience personal and encourage the faithful to imagine the physical horror of Christ's Crucifixion. Christ's tortured features confront the viewer, and our attention is focused on his corpse, sacrifice, and suffering. Wounds are openly displayed: blood flows from the gaping laceration in Christ's side and the puncture wounds on his hands. Rubens contrasted the living and the dead by juxtaposing the lifeless body and green-tinged skin of Christ with the healthy complexion of St. John.

This painting was probably made to serve as an altarpiece in a small chapel, perhaps one dedicated to the Eucharist. The slab on which the body is placed suggests an altar, while the sheaf of wheat alludes to the bread of the Eucharist, the equivalent of Christ's body in the Mass.

Provenance
Provenance
by 1651 -

Gaspar de Haro y Guzmán, seventh marqués de Eliche Carpio, 1629 - 1687 (Madrid, Spain)
Source: Provenance Index: Carpio inventory (record 609),1651 Madrid inv. no. 146.

-

Artaria and Co. (Vienna, Austria)

- 1868

Count Paul Pavlovitch Demidoff, prince of San Donato, 1839 - 1885 (San Donato (near Florence), Italy) [sold, Demidoff sale, Pillet, Paris, April 18, 1868, lot 13.]

1868 -

Blanche Cachin (Paris, France)

- 1912

Marquise Landolfo Carcano (Paris, France) [sold, Landolfo Carcano sale, Lair-Dubreuil, Paris, May 30, 1912, lot 172.]

- 1921

Charles Léon Cardon, died 1920 (Brussels, Belgium) [sold, Cardon sale, Fiévez, Brussels, June 27, 1921, lot 96.]

- 1992

Private Collection [sold, Christie's, London, December 11, 1992, lot 61 through Otto Naumann, Ltd., New York, to Alfred Bader Fine Arts.]

1992

Alfred Bader Fine Arts (New York, New York), sold through Otto Naumann, Ltd., New York, to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1992.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Spectacular Rubens: The Triumph of the Eucharist (March 25, 2014 to May 10, 2015)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 14, 2014 to January 11, 2015
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, February 15 to May 10, 2015
Rubens: The Power of Transformation (October 17, 2017 to June 3, 2018)
  • Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna), October 17, 2017 to January 21, 2018
  • Städel Museum (Frankfurt am Main), February 8 to June 3, 2018
Bibliography
Bibliography

Hotel Drouot, Paris. Catalogue de vingt-trois tableaux des écoles flamande et hollandaise provenant de la Célèbre Galerie de San Donato. April 18, 1868, p. 51, no. 13, ill.

Rooses, Max. L'Oeuvre de P.P. Rubens (Antwerp: Maes, 1888), p. 134.

Galerie Georges Petit, Paris. Catalogue des tableaux modernes, tableaux anciens [...] appartentant à Madame la Marquise Landolfo Carcano. May 31-June 1, 1912, p. 8, lot 172.

Salle Sainte-Gudule, Paris. Collection Ch.-Léon Cardon, première vente: Catalogue de tableaux anciens [...]. June 27-30, 1921, p. 67, lot 96, ill.

Christie's, London. Important and Fine Old Master Pictures. December 11, 1992, p. 114, no. 61.

Martin, Gregory. "Rubens's The Entombment." Christie's International Magazine 9, no. 7 (November-December 1992), p. 8, ill.

Martin, Gregory. "Pictures by Rubens." Christie's Review of the Season (1993), pp. 8-9, ill.

"Acquisitions/1993." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 22 (1994), p. 75.

Jaffé, Michael. Peter Paul Rubens: Composition for The Lamentation, Figure Studies for the Consecration of Saint Eloi as Bishop of Noyon (London: Hazlitt Gooden & Fox, 1994).

Fredericksen, Burton B., et al. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995), unpaginated, no. 19, ill., entry by Dawson Carr.

"Part II: Paintings Sold in the Past." In Otto Naumann, Ltd. Inaugural Exhibition of Old Master Paintings, 12 January-1 March 1995, exh. cat. (New York: Otto Naumann, Ltd., 1995), p. 195, ill.

Burke, Marcus B., and Peter Cherry. Spanish Inventories 1: Collections of Paintings in Madrid, 1601-1755. 2 vols. Maria Gilbert, ed. (Los Angeles: The Provenance Index of the Getty Information Institute, 1997), vol. 2, p. 1157, fig. 46.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 110, ill.

Burke, Marcus B., and Peter Cherry. Spanish Inventories 1: Collections of Paintings in Madrid, 1601-1755. 2 vols. Maria Gilbert, ed. (Los Angeles: The Provenance Index of the Getty Information Institute, 1997), vol. 1, p. 472, inv. no. 145, p. 483, no. 43.

Fredericksen, Burton B., et al. Masterpieces of the J. Paul Getty Museum: Paintings (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), pp. 50-51, no. 26, ill., entry by Dawson Carr.

Sister Wendy (Wendy Beckett). Sister Wendy's 1000 Masterpieces (London: Dorling Kindersley, 1999), pp. 404-5, ill.

Vergara, Alexander. Rubens and his Spanish Patrons (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 179, 245, no. 179.

Lyons, Lisa, ed. Departures: 11 Artists at the Getty, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2000), pp. 10-11, 45, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 113, ill.

Jeromack, Paul. "A Tough Love." Art & Auction 25, no. 2 (February 2003), p. 80, ill.

Zuffi, Stefano. Gospel Figures in Art. Thomas Michael Hartmann, trans. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003), p. 313.

Allen, Denise, et al. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, with Thames & Hudson, 2003), pp. 46-47, no. 23, ill., entry by Dawson Carr.

Elliott, Virgil. Traditional Oil Painting: Advanced Techniques and Concepts from the Renaissance to the Present (New York: Watson-Guptill, 2007), pp. 60-61, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 107, ill.

Doherty, Tiarna, and Anne T. Woollett. Looking at Paintings: A Guide to Technical Terms. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009), p. 27, ill.

Woollett, Anne T. "Faith and Glory: The Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia and the 'Triumph of the Eucharist'." In Spectacular Rubens: The Triumph of the Eucharist, exh. cat. Alejandro Vergara and Anne T. Woollett, eds. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2014), pp. 15-16, fig. 4.

Woollett, Anne T. "La fe y la gloria: la Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia y el Triunfo de la Eucaristía." In Rubens: El triunfo de la Eucaristía, exh. cat. Alejandro Vergara and Anne T. Woollett, eds. (Madrid: Museo Nacional del Prado; Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2014), p. 16, fig. 4.

Fried, Michael. After Caravaggio (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2016), p. 180, ill. p. 181, fig. 143.

Georgievska-Shine, Aneta. “'In nova fert animus'… Rubens and the Poetics of Transformation.” In Rubens: The Power of Transformation, exh. cat. Gerlinde Gruber et al., eds. (Munich: Kunsthistorisches Museum, with Hirmer, 2017), p. 31.

Weppelmann, Stefan. “Seeing Bodies and Painting Bodies: Cats 82 to 101.” In Rubens: The Power of Transformation, exh. cat. Gerlinde Gruber et al., eds. (Munich: Kunsthistorisches Museum, with Hirmer, 2017), pp. 227-29, 246, no. 100, ill.

Education Resources
Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

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

9-12

Two-Part Lesson