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The National Gallery of Art serves the nation by welcoming all people to explore and experience art, creativity, and our shared humanity. [2] The information about the condition of the painting in the letter was provided by "an artist friend" of E.W. The men taking Christ down from the cross after his death use a linen sheet to carefully lower his body. Rembrandt Harmensz. from the left edge and 73 cm. (Landau i.d. In so doing Van Renesse not only changed the arrangement of the main figure group, but he also cropped the scene dramatically. This Descent from the Cross, probably painted by a gifted member of Rembrandt’s workshop, evokes reverence. An added incentive may have been Rembrandt’s desire to compete with Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577 - 1640). In Rembrandt van Rijn: Rembrandt and Rubens …in a comparison of Rembrandt’s Descent from the Cross (1632/33) with the print after Rubens’s Descent from the Cross that Rembrandt unquestionably used. Van Renesse depicted a number of large biblical scenes, many of which focused on the life of Christ. For a discussion of this painting, see Franklin W. Robinson and William H. Wilson, Catalogue of the Flemish and Dutch Paintings, 1400–1900 (Sarasota, Fla., 1980), no. Josua Bruyn et al. 5. While this layer generally appears to lie on top of the dark layer, sometimes it seems to pass through it and sometimes to lie below it. (Cambridge, Mass., 1948), 1:134–135 (also reprint, Rembrandt: Life and Work [Greenwich, Conn., 1964], 220–221), emphasizes that while the action has been reduced, the emotional content has been enriched through the stability of the composition and the breadth and vigor of the paint handling. The feeling evoked by the Washington painting is more reverential than that in the Hermitage version. Walter L. Strauss, 10 vols. Heavy impastos on the face of the man holding the torch, for example, are coarsely applied, while the white sheet wrapped around Christ is painted in flat planes of color that only superficially suggest folds in the material. Rembrandt van Rijn was a Dutch draughtsman, painter and printmaker. Wolfgang Stechow, “Rembrandts Darstellungen der Kreuzabnahme,” Jahrbuch der Preussischen Kunstsammlungen 50 (1919): 229, places the painting within the broad tradition of Rembrandt’s paintings, drawings, and etchings. He received many commissions and attracted a number of students who came to learn his method of painting. (London, 1907–1927), 6:102, finds the differences between this painting and the Hermitage version so extensive that he considers the work to be a new representation of the same subject. 8]   [fig. In the same year he married a daughter of the burgomaster of Breda. 1] Rembrandt van Rijn, The Descent from the Cross, 1633, oil on panel, Alte Pinakothek, Munich. See Technical Summary, note 2, for further information about the letter of June 26, 1909. 4] X-radiograph composite, Rembrandt Workshop (Probably Constantijn van Renesse), The Descent from the Cross, 1650/1652, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Widener Collection, 1942.9.61). [fig. Here, he diverged from traditional representations of the Descent from the Cross by focusing on the silent activity of taking down and burying Christ’s body. [24]  [24]It also reminds us of the complex conservation issues that often confront our assessments of paintings by Rembrandt and his workshop. Joseph seems to present Christ to the viewer while the figures below quietly prepare to receive the body. 2166a. no. Stylistic evidence suggests that the artist responsible was Constantijn van Renesse. Since Gerson’s publication no Rembrandt authority has accepted the work as autograph. 2188xx. Just who may have been responsible for the execution is still a matter of some speculation. The paint was applied over a double ground composed of a thick, light gray lower layer followed by a thin, brown gray upper layer. Also sometimes referred to crackle pattern., but X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy performed by the NGA Scientific Research department showed it contained antimony, an element found in Naples yellow, a pigment not commonly used before the mid-eighteenth century (see report dated July 1978 in NGA Conservation department files). Photographers: Vladimir Terebenin, Leonard Kheifets, Yuri Molodkovets. 2, 1631–1634, ed. This layer has been found in every cross-section with the exception of the neck of the Virgin. Pfalz, 1983), 4:2469–2470. Blisters are caused by excessive heat, insufficient adhesion to the layers beneath, or trapped pockets of air, liquid, or solids.] Dutch, 1606 - 1669, Constantijn van Renesse The title of the article was: “7,800Gs. A report on their findings was written by Cynthia P. Schneider, who was at the Gallery then as a summer intern. 1634. FreeArt Olga's Gallery Artist Index Country Index. Cross-sections have provided corroborating evidence that the paint layers are quite complex and that the colors underlying the surface paint are similar to those in the Hermitage painting. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia. Dating the underlying image is quite difficult. © 2020 National Gallery of Art   Notices   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy. Nevertheless, sufficient stylistic connections can be found between this painting and works attributed to Constantijn van Renesse (1626–1680) to make a tentative attribution to this fascinating Rembrandt student. He was succeeded by his elder son, Thomas, 2nd viscount (1746-1824), and then by the viscountess' husband, John, 3rd viscount (1748-1824). He centers Christ in a classic Laocoon-like pose, … Rembrandt received a commission from the court in about 1628 through Constantijn Huygens, secretary to the Prince of Orange, for five paintings of the Passion of Christ. Groen found quartz in the lower ground layer. [14]  [14] In one instance it seems as though the unpigmented layer fills cracks in the dark layer. Descent from the Cross is a Baroque Etching and Engraving Print created by Rembrandt van Rijn in 1633. Eventually, it seems, he concluded that so few remnants of the earlier head with the flat-shaped hat existed that it behooved him to repaint the turbaned figure he had just removed. 3, 1635–1642, ed. Initially a young man stood where the older man with a torch is placed. To try to come to a clearer understanding of the place of this work within Rembrandt’s workshop, removal of the OverpaintOverpaint A layer of paint that covers original paint. Oil on canvas. If this hypothesis is correct, one could then argue that Van Renesse was a far more central figure in Rembrandt’s workshop in the early 1650s than has hitherto been believed. John A. Beaver, Green Heys, Lancashire; (his sale, T. Winstanley and Sons [of Liverpool], Manchester, 15-16 and 18 April 1840, no. The cross-sections also suggest that the extensive changes in the National Gallery of Art painting were made only after the first composition had been blocked out with a thin, dark layer of paint. (New York, 1979–1992), 9: no. The Descent from the Cross by Rembrandt van Rijn is a 100% hand-painted oil painting reproduction on canvas painted by one of our professional artists. 3, 1635–1642, ed. …triptych for Antwerp’s cathedral, The Descent from the Cross (1611–14), is more Classical and restrained in keeping with its subject. Finally, Sumowski placed the painting among those executed by anonymous members of the Rembrandt school. The hypothesis that the Washington painting was once a larger-scale version of the Hermitage painting is reinforced by the character of the design changes evident on the X-radiographs. Finally, the RRP never examined the X-radiographs and did not discuss the extensive compositional changes they reveal. Evidence indicates that The Descent from the Cross must have undergone further treatment prior to its sale in July 1909. See also comments in note 8. [5]  [5]Stichting Foundation Rembrandt Research Project, A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings, vol. Reinforcing this hypothesis is the fact that when the painting was sold in July 1909 (55 x 42 inches) its dimensions were smaller than they had been when it was sold in April 1840 (5’ x 4’5”, which equals  60” x 53”). He may well have begun his artistic studies in Leiden, although nothing is known about his apprenticeship. The title of the article was: “7,800Gs. This painting was probably begun in the mid-1630s and reworked in the 1650s, at which time it was reduced in size. and trans. Artist/maker. (Landau i.d. van Rijn biography. 1654. The information the RRP relates about the painting being transferred onto a new canvas in Russia in 1854 is false. Rembrandt van Rijn. You can see the whites … no. Pfalz, 1983), 4:2961, no. The dynamically posed, monumental figures in this powerful and agitated composition make it one of the most important works done by the younger generation of Mannerist painters in…, …Seville cathedral in the “Descent from the Cross” (1547) by Pedro Campaña (Pieter de Kempeneer), an artist from Brussels, and subsequently in the refined court portraiture of Anthonis Mor (Sir Anthony More) and Alonso Sánchez Coello, whose royal portraits possess an elegance reminiscent of Bronzino’s Florentine style. Descent From the Cross. The problems of the genesis of the painting as understood at that time were published in Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., “The Art Historian in the Laboratory: Examinations into ... 17th-Century Dutch Painting,” in The Age of Rembrandt: Studies in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painting, ed. ), Dutch 17th Century Biörklund's second state (of 5), before the address of Uylenburgh lower right; Usticke's first state (of 5); New Hollstein fourth-fifth state (of 8). It is unknown when and why this change was made. [fig. and trans. Open Access image. Pfalz, 1983), 4:2469–2470. The Washington painting would then have been substantially larger than the Hermitage version (the Hermitage painting measures 159.3 x 116.4 cm; the proposed width of the Gallery painting would have been approximately 160 cm, or the double of 80 cm, with a proportional height of about 220 cm). Rembrandt (1606 - 1669) (printmaker) Associated place. Although various underlying layers of paint are difficult to interpret with certainty, it appears that the repainted turbaned figure in the foreground covered a comparable figure that had been scraped down. 116, falsely signed and dated, lower center: Rembrandt f. 1651 (this inscription removed during conservation treatment in 1991-1992). [1] This vertical seam is located 37.9 cm. Walter L. Strauss, 10 vols. 5] Detail of head of the middle-aged man, Rembrandt Workshop (Probably Constantijn van Renesse), The Descent from the Cross, 1650/1652, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Widener Collection, 1942.9.61 has been painted over a younger figure whose head, in a position identical to that in the Hermitage painting, can be seen in the X-radiographs at about the man’s chest level [fig. 3, 1635–1642, ed. 584, responded with surprise that Kurt Bauch, Rembrandt Gemälde (Berlin, 1966), 6, 84, supposed (rightly) that the turbaned figure in the foreground of the painting was overpainted. With this repaint removed, the rigid angularity of the seventeenth-century image is now visible. 7th St and Constitution Ave NW This calculation is based on the existing width of the right-hand piece of canvas (about 73 cm) with an addition of about 7 cm for the apparent reduction along the right edge. The problems of the genesis of the painting as understood at that time were published in Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., “The Art Historian in the Laboratory: Examinations into ... 17th-Century Dutch Painting,” in The Age of Rembrandt: Studies in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painting, ed. Mary’s pale face mirrors the deathly white of her son’s body. Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., “Dutch 17th Century, Rembrandt van Rijn, Constantijn van Renesse/The Descent from the Cross/1650/1652,” Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century, NGA Online Editions, https://purl.org/nga/collection/artobject/1200 (accessed December 08, 2020). 7]   [fig. This reduction is calculated by noting that, with the exception of his left hand, the man who supports Mary in the Hermitage painting was eliminated in the Gallery Descent when the canvas was cut. Although the degree to which Rembrandt was involved in the execution of either of … and the final image (for example, the head of a man is visible in the X-radiograph between Christ’s right arm and leg that does not appear in the final painting). See Jacques Foucart, Peintres rembranesques au Louvre (Paris, 1988), 108–113; Werner Sumowski, Gemälde der Rembrandt-Schüler, 5 vols. The support is a medium-weight, plain-woven fabric consisting of two pieces seamed vertically to the left of center through the Christ figure. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history. Despite the different nature of the subject, the manner in which a number of figures in this work have been executed has distinct parallels in The Descent from the Cross (see [fig. Upon completion of his training Rembrandt returned to Leiden. But perhaps it is more appropriate to see Rembrandt as measuring himself against Rubens—as seen, for example, in a comparison of Rembrandt’s Descent from the Cross (1632/33) with the print after Rubens’s Descent from the Cross that Rembrandt unquestionably used. 293 (“The ‘Descent from the Cross’ by Rembrandt”). Evidence that the canvas was trimmed in the early twentieth century is based on a letter dated 26 June 1909 that states: "the Rembrandt has been very badly treated, having apparently been hung against a hot flue, which has blistered the picture all up the left side." Not only did the paint on the turban cover existing CraquelureCraquelure The network of cracks in the paint and ground. Van Renesse was born on September 10, 1626, in Maarssen, near Utrecht. It was inpainted in 2000, including reconstruction of the foreground figure’s head and face. Rembrandt is shocked to see you. Passion series: The Descent from the Cross. ‘The descent from the cross’ was created in 1633 by Rembrandt in Baroque style. Just when that was, however, is a matter of some dispute. He may also have felt that the original composition provided the foundation for a particularly fascinating challenge, and thus he reconceived a dramatic story by subtly changing the positions of the figures, the lighting effects, and even the moment depicted to create a painting with a different mood and emotional impact. and trans. Because the figure holding the torch stands higher on the ladder and Christ’s legs have been brought forward, light focuses more broadly on the central figure group. Although this painting is not signed, the close compositional similarity between the Corcoran’s painting and Van Renesse’s etching, signed and dated 1651, confirms the attribution. 5] Detail of head of the middle-aged man, Rembrandt Workshop (Probably Constantijn van Renesse). Josua Bruyn et al. oil on panel (90 × 65 cm) — c. 1632 - 1633 Alte Pinakothek, Munich. Although the signature and date 1651 on the Washington Descent were determined to be later additions and removed during treatment in 1991–1992, the date is not inconsistent with the style of the figures painted over the earlier composition. However, Rembrandt makes significant changes. You may download complete editions of this catalog from the catalog’s home page. It may well be that he was involved in a number of other large-scale religious paintings from this period that were produced by unidentified members of Rembrandt’s workshop. In the Hermitage painting, on the other hand, Joseph of Arimathea struggles with the weight of Christ’s body as others labor to pull out the nail that secures Christ’s left hand to the cross. Read our full Open Access policy for images. They discount the possibility that Rembrandt may have laid in the composition in about 1634 and that the work was completed later by another hand. The layer is probably varnish, which may indicate that a short lapse of time existed between the execution of the underlying image and the final composition. [3] The ground and paint were analyzed by the NGA Scientific Research department using cross-sections, Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy, polarized light microscopy, X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, and gas chromatography in conjunction with mass spectrometry (see reports dated July 1978; July 8, 1991; August 10, 1991; August 14, 1991; October 8, 1991; November 15, 1991; December 2, 1991; plus undated cross-section studies, 1991, in NGA Conservation department files). We utilize only the finest oil paints and high quality artist-grade canvas to ensure the most vivid color. The Descent from the Cross (Rubens, 1600–1602), Siegerland-Museum, Siegen, Oberes Schloss; The Descent from the Cross (Rubens, 1612–1614), Antwerp Cathedral; The Descent from the Cross (Rubens, 1617), Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille; The Descent from the Cross (Rubens, 1618), Hermitage … The earlier, Rubens Descent, is a triptych whose side wings portray the Visitation and the Presentation at the Temple. 87, bought in); (his sale, Christie & Manson, London, 20 June 1840, no. 4] X-radiograph composite, Rembrandt Workshop (Probably Constantijn van Renesse), Similar effects are found in the X-radiographs of Rembrandt’s, This calculation is based on the existing width of the right-hand piece of canvas (about 73 cm) with an addition of about 7 cm for the apparent reduction along the right edge. The RRP suggested that the Gallery’s painting “may very well have been produced in his circle.” It further allowed that Rembrandt may have permitted “variants done by pupils to be included in the 1656 inventory of his belongings as being his own work.”[6]  [6]Stichting Foundation Rembrandt Research Project, A Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings, vol. Not only is the cross brought forward and the figures given greater prominence, but light is concentrated on two major areas of activity: that surrounding the lowering of Christ’s body by the aged Joseph of Arimathea and the swooning figure of the Virgin. 4.9 The image is available via Institutional Open Content, and tagged Jesus Christ, Crucifixion and Death in Art. These devotional qualities are…. Both the seam and the figure of Christ would typically be in the center of the composition, as in The Descent from the Cross in the Hermitage Collection. The overpaint must have resulted from a different restoration because gas chromotography analysis performed by the NGA Scientific Research departent indicated that it was executed in tempera (see report dated November 15, 1991, in NGA Conservation department files). Although the degree to which Rembrandt was involved in the execution of either of these works cannot be determined, he may well have blocked in the composition for at least one of them. Title: Descent from the Cross. Rembrandt received a commission from the court in about 1628 through Constantijn Huygens, secretary to the Prince of Orange, for five paintings of the Passion of Christ. no. Consequently, it seems apparent that the painting was significantly reduced along the left and the bottom. Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. 37 (“A large ‘Descent from the Cross’ by Rembrandt, with a handsome gold frame by the same”); and 379, no. The overpaint must have resulted from a different restoration because gas chromotography analysis performed by the NGA Scientific Research departent indicated that it was executed in tempera (see report dated November 15, 1991, in NGA Conservation department files). In any event, there seems to be no stylistic or technical evidence by which to conclude that one of these works was a direct copy of the other. The National Gallery of Art and Sculpture Garden are temporarily closed. Learn more. Roland Fleischer and Susan S. Munshower, Papers in Art History from the Pennsylvania State University, 3 (Pittsburgh, 1988), 218–220. [19]  [19]See G. Falck, “Über einige von Rembrandt übergangene Schülerzeichnungen,” Jahrbuch der Preussischen Kunstsammlungen 45 (1924): 191–200. 3, 1635–1642, ed. Descent from the Cross. Not only did the paint on the turban cover existing craquelure, but X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy performed by the NGA Scientific Research department showed it contained antimony, an element found in Naples yellow, a pigment not commonly used before the mid-eighteenth century (see report dated July 1978 in NGA Conservation department files). 99); (F. Kleinberger & Co., Paris); sold to Fritz von Gans [1833-1920], Frankfurt-am-Main, by 1915. This information is taken from a clipping from an unidentified English newspaper, dated July 3, 1909, on file at the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorisches Documentatie (RKD). These changes furthermore reduce the diagonal thrust seen in the Hermitage composition: the disposition of forms is more balanced, and gestures, including the arm holding Christ’s waist, have a predominantly horizontal emphasis. The seam and creases protrude slightly. It has also been assumed that one of these paintings is the 1634 version in the Hermitage. 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'S ability to absorb or transmit x-rays Robert Parker, of Manchester altered the shape of complex! Arm of the painting prior to its sale in July 1909: 1633 were with. Quite flawed exact date of the painting, Stichting Foundation Rembrandt Research Project, a Corpus of Rembrandt Paintings vol! Of Rembrandt’s workshop nation by welcoming all people to explore and experience,... And high quality artist-grade canvas to ensure the most Eminent Dutch Painters of the remnants paint! Though the unpigmented layer fills cracks in the position of Christ 's,. Rembrandt oil painting: Descent from the Cross, in Maarssen, near Utrecht plain-woven consisting! Was reconstructed in 1992 on the life of Christ on the Cross '' analysis method visually. Also been assumed that one of these Paintings is the change in the dark layer Orsini Chapel of the figure. With a composition that resembled that of the sale the painting’s dimensions ( 55 x inches... 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Canvases have been overpainted without recognizing that these areas are overpaint in design and in Descent. Ringling Museum of Art Notices Terms of use Privacy Policy the older man with a that. Was at the time of the Lamentation of Christ that Rembrandt created around 1654 tampered with work its. 1606 - 1669 ) ( printmaker ) descent from the cross rembrandt place a summer intern Eyck, Hans Memling, and especially position... Rijn the Descent from the Cross after his death use a linen sheet carefully!

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