- Inventory number
- Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
- Christ on the Cross
- Ca. 1632
- 248 cm x 169 cm
- On display
- Colección Real (Convento de San Plácido, Madrid; colección Manuel Godoy, h. 1805; col. condesa de Chinchón; duques de San Fernando de Quiroga, 1828).
This serene representation of Christ after death is of Apollonian proportions. He is crucified with four nails, in keeping with the suggestion of the painter's teacher and father-in-law, Francisco Pacheco, who had created a similar work on the same subject in 1614. By placing he feet on a platform and eliminating any spatial reference, Velázquez accentuates the feeling of solitude, silence and rest, rather than the idea of the torment of Christ's Passion.
The influence of Greco-Roman sculpture on the anatomy of Christ indicates that this work was made in the years directly following his return from his first trip to Italy, around 1631-1632.
This painting comes from the sacristy of the Benedictine nuns’ Convent of the Blessed Incarnation of San Plácido in Madrid. Legend has it that it was painted at the behest of Felipe IV to expiate the sacrilege of his falling in love with a young nun.