Inventory number
P02637
Author
Cano, Alonso (Spanish)
Title
The Dead Christ Held by an Angel
Chronology
1646-1652
Technique
Óleo
Support
Lienzo
Dimensions
137 cm x 100 cm
School
Española
Theme
Religión
On display
No
Provenance
Legacy of Pablo Bosch y Barrau, 1916

The dead body of Christ is barely held up by the efforts of an angel, who turns his imploring gaze heavenward. This is a story profoundly rooted in Western art since the Renaissance and transmitted by Italian artists.

It was probably painted by Cano and was certainly inspired by certain prints related to Michelangelo. The painter takes on a composition that reveals his taste for contention, moderation and balance in one of his favorite subjects: the nude. This allows him to reflect upon the classical ideal of beauty and the canon of proportions.

For Cano, the white body of Christ is an ideal way of exploring human anatomy as a means of expression, especially when contrasted with a dark background. With this darkness, he also creates a sense of calm and mystery appropriate for a meditation on the death of Christ, making this an example of his finest devotional painting.

There are other similar versions with the same subject, one of which is also in the Prado Museum (P00629).

 
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