Dead Christ with Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus (Sepulcrum Christi)

Joseph of Arimathea looks on contemplatively as a tearful Nicodemus supports Christ’s lifeless body on a stone tomb, which is inscribed in Latin with the artist’s name and the work’s subject, “sepulcher of Christ.” The painting may originally have been positioned above an altar in a private chapel, where its somber mood was meant to encourage devotion and prayer. Despite his bloody wounds, Christ is depicted with an idealized body, like that of a classical statue, and a serene expression, suggesting his eventual triumph over death.

Perugino (Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci)

Italian, c. 1450–1523

Dead Christ with Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus (Sepulcrum Christi)

c. 1494–98

Oil possibly with tempera on panel, transferred to fabric on panel

36 7/16 x 28 1/4 in. (92.6 x 71.8 cm) Frame: 48 3/4 x 41 x 4 in. (123.8 x 104.1 x 10.2 cm)


Acquired by Sterling Clark, 1914

1955.947


ON VIEW