The Descent from the Cross, Follower of Rogier van der Weyden

Follower of Rogier van der Weyden

The Descent from the Cross

Early 1600s

48x31cm, oil on panel


Rogier van der Weyden (c. 1399-1464), also known as Rogier de la Pasture, was one of the most influential painters of the Northern Renaissance. He was born in Tournai, which was then part of the County of Flanders, and he died in Brussels. Van der Weyden was trained in the workshop of Robert Campin, one of the leading painters in Tournai. He was admitted to the painters’ guild in Tournai in 1432, and he moved to Brussels in 1435.
Van der Weyden quickly established himself as one of the most successful painters in Brussels. He worked for a variety of patrons, including the Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good. Van der Weyden’s paintings are known for their emotional intensity, realism, and attention to detail. He was also a master of portraiture.

Van der Weyden’s followers were active in a variety of centers throughout the Netherlands, including Brussels, Bruges, and Tournai. They produced a wide range of works, including altarpieces, devotional panels, portraits, and miniatures. Many of their paintings are difficult to distinguish from those of van der Weyden himself, and some scholars have even suggested that some of the paintings attributed to van der Weyden may actually have been painted by his followers.


This depiction of the Gospel scene of mourning of the dead Christ with the Mother of God and St. Joseph of Arimathea, common in early Netherlandish Art, the sonorous coloring using an archaic golden background, enhancing the dramatic nature of the scene and the confident manner of execution give every reason to see in it a typical and highly indicative example of early Netherlandish painting 16th century. A careful study of this work leaves no doubt that this is an old copy of the unsurvived original of the Lamentation of Christ by Rogier van der Weyden, which dates back to the famous composition of the same name by this master, currently located in the Prado Museum in Madrid. Many reduced versions of this famous monument have been preserved, executed in the second half of the 15th century and in repetitions of the first third of the 16th century in the Southern Netherlands.


Private collection, Zürich, Switzerland

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