The itinerary <em>TITULORECORRIDO</em> has been successfully created. Now you can add in works from the Collection browser
<em>TITULOOBRA</em> added to <em>TITULORECORRIDO</em> itinerary

The Descent from the Cross
Kempeneer, Pieter
Close Continuar a ficha de la obra

Kempeneer, Pieter

Brussels (Belgium), 1503, 1580

Kempeneer, Pieter See author's file

The Descent from the Cross

Ca. 1570. Oil on oak panel.
Room 052C

Calvary and The Descent from the Cross were two of the most frequent subjects in Pedro de Campaña’s oeuvre. Their content, as well as the painter’s Flemish training, explain his manner of emphasizing the markedly dramatic character of their compositions, stressing the figures’ expressive qualities in very contrived nocturnal settings. It is no surprise that these subjects continued to occupy Campaña towards the end of his career, after he returned to Brussels around 1563. The famous panels that he sent to Seville, as Francisco Pacheco put it, must have been small-format works for private prayer chapels, some of which would have been small portable diptychs or triptychs.

Enrique Valdivieso has explained these works as the sort of production that could still be undertaken by an artist whose age limited him to tasks requiring little physical strength. Besides drawing and supplying cartoons to the Tapestry Factory in his native city, Pedro de Campaña was able to accept small-format commissions, and there, he applied the monumentality of earlier compositions to new expressive formulas that particularly emphasized landscapes and the details of the figures and objects therein.

This panel from the Arango collection is one of the artist’s most refined and emblematic creations from the 1570s. The center of the composition is a reinterpretation of the central idea in Marcoantonio Raimondi’s print, which is also present in earlier Descents. Here, however, the field of vision is expanded to encompass a complex representation of Mount Calvary, which appears as a narrow, layered stone promontory that stands out against a very open landscape under a wide sky. The two tall crosses of the thieves stand precariously at the edges of this promontory. The tiny and precise brushstrokes present a different facet of Campaña: that of a careful maker of piccola pittura.

This work is signed in Latin alongside the skeletal remains that, defying tradition, do not appear at the foot of the cross, but instead, at a certain distance. The inscription reads: Hoc opus faciebat/ Petrus Campaniensis.


Technical data

Inventory number
Kempeneer, Pieter
The Descent from the Cross
Ca. 1570
Oak panel
Height: 24.3 cm; Width: 20.6 cm
Amadeus Société Anonyme, Vaduz; Collection of Plácido Arango Arias; Bequest of Plácido Arango Arias, 2015.

Bibliography +

Angulo Íñiguez, D.; Pérez Sánchez, A. E., Historia de la pintura española: escuela madrileña del primer tercio del siglo XVII, Instituto Diego Velázquez, Madrid, 1969, pp. 76, n. 21.

Dacos, Nicole, Pedro de Campaña dopo Siviglia. Arazzi e altri inediti, Bollettino d'arte, 6-8, Roma, 1980, pp. 33-37.

Duvosquel, Jean-Marie; Vandevivere, Ignace (eds.), Splendeurs d'Espagne et les villes belges: 1500-1700, Europalia 85 España. Crédit Communal, Bruselas, 1985, pp. 492-94, c21.

Pérez Sánchez, A, Pintura española recuperada por el coleccionismo privado, Fundación Fondo de Cultura de Sevilla,, 1996, pp. 76 n.21.

Valdivieso, Enrique, Pedro de Campaña, Fundación Sevillana Endesa, Sevilla, 2008, pp. 167.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Plácido Arango Arias. Donación de 25 obras maestras de su colección de arte antiguo al Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2015, pp. 24-25.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Memoria de actividades 2015, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2016, pp. 32-33.

Ruiz , L, 'Pedro de Campaña. El Descendimiento' En:, Donación de Plácido Arango Arias al Museo del Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado,, Madrid, 2016, pp. 24-26 n.3.

Valdivieso, Enrique, 'El Descendimiento de Pedro de Campaña del Museo del Prado' En:, Los tesoros ocultos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2017, pp. 183-198.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2906.

Inscriptions +

Hoc opus faciebat/Petrus Campaniensis
Signed. Front, lower area

Exhibitions +

Museo del Prado 1819-2019. A place of memory
19.11.2018 - 10.03.2019

Temporal presentation: The Plácido Arango donation
07.07.2015 - 22.11.2015

Location +

Room 052C (On Display)

Update date: 30-04-2022 | Registry created on 24-08-2015

Other works by Kempeneer, Pieter

Print on demand

Print artworks available in our catalogue in high quality and your preferred size and finish.

Image archive

Request artworks available in our catalogue in digital format.