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The Dead Christ venerated by Pius V
Parrasio, Michele
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Parrasio, Michele

Venice, 1516 - Venice, 1578

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The Dead Christ venerated by Pius V

Ca. 1572. Oil on copperplate.
Not on display

Christ lies dead on a bed beside which Pope Pius V kneels, surrounded by angels. Above them, two angels hold a chalice and a communion wafer, symbols of his death and resurrection. On the lower part of the painting, the skeleton of Adam alludes to the first man and the redemption of Original Sin. Divers elements of the Passion appear on the bed and floor, such as the Crown of Thorns and the Whip. The main subject of this work is the exaltation of the Eucharist, represented by bread and wine. The figure of Saint Pius V, Micael Ghislieri (1504-1572) is a portrait. The Pope was an especially important figure in the struggle against Protestantism during the Catholic Counterreformation. Parrasio studied in Venice with Titian, although he was later associated with Veronese. The latter gave him a variety of drawings for his compositions, including the one now at the British Museum in London, which is for the figure of Christ and the skeleton. The artist used the same composition for the altar of the Venetian church of San Giuseppe (1573) but there, he painted himself into the painting in place of the Pope. This worked entered the Monastery of El Escorial during the reign of Felipe II (1556-1598).

Technical data

Inventory number
Parrasio, Michele
The Dead Christ venerated by Pius V
Ca. 1572
Height: 42 cm; Width: 30 cm
Royal Collection

Bibliography +

Salas, Xavier de, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972, pp. 491.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 495-496.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado. Inventario general de pinturas (I) La Colección Real, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990.

Checa Cremades, Fernando, Tiziano y la monarquía hispánica: usos y funciones de la pintura veneciana en España (siglos XVI y XVII), Nerea, Madrid, 1994, pp. 312, n. 182.

La monarquía hispánica: Felipe II, un monarca y su época, Sociedad Estatal para la Conmemoración de los Cent, Madrid, 1998.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Pintura italiana del Renacimiento: guía, Museo del Prado, Aldeasa, Madrid, 1999, pp. 244.

García-Frías Checa, Carmen, 'De la grandeza y variedad de la pintura que hay en esta casa' La colección pictórica de Felipe II en El Monasterio de El Escorial, De El Bosco a Tiziano: arte y maravilla en El Escorial, Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, 2013, pp. 35-51 [44].

Maurer, G., Goya: lo bello y lo recóndito. En: La belleza encerrada: de Fra Angelico a Fortuny, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2013, pp. 133.

Mena Marqués, M.; Albarrán, V., La belleza encerrada: de Fra Angelico a Fortuny, folleto, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2013, pp. 16 n.49.

Mena Marqués, M.; Albarrán, V., Azúa, F. de, La belleza cautiva. Pequeños tesoros del Museo del Prado, Museo del Prado - Obra Social ''La Caixa'', Barcelona, 2014, pp. 86.

Other inventories +

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1910. Núm. 284.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1942-1996. Núm. 284.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 337.

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 430.
Verones (Pablo Cagliari, llamado por su pais el) / 430. Jesucristo difunto, adorado por San Pio 5º y varios ángeles. / Al pie de este cuadro se ve la firma. O. Parrhasi, que evidentemente es supuesta. (E.) (cobre). / Alto 1 pie, 6 pulg; ancho 1 pie, 1 pulg.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1854-1858. Núm. 430.

Inscriptions +

O[pus] PARRASII [sobre el fémur del esqueleto]
Signed. Front, Lower right area

Front, lower area

Exhibitions +

Captive Beauty. Small Treasures at the Prado Museum
16.07.2014 - 05.01.2015

Captive Beauty. Fra Angelico to Fortuny
21.05.2013 - 10.11.2013

Felipe II. La monarquía hispánica
San Lorenzo de El Escorial
30.05.1998 - 31.10.1998

Displayed objects +



Objects from Christ's Passion: Corona de espinas


Update date: 09-04-2022 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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