El Greco. Christ on The Cross. (1600 -
1610). Mannerism. 69 ¾ by 41 ¼ in.
El Geco is one of the largest representatives of the mannerism. Although it of Greek origin and was born in Candie in Crete, Spanish painting owes him its world famous paintings. This crucifixion is a work of maturity, it exists in several specimens in large size. A painting a little larger (193 X 116 cm) is with the museum of Cleveland but most of the landscape is not represented. An almost identical version of size is recorded in the collection Marques of Motilla in Seville, a work of 82.5 X 51.8 cm. is with the museum of J. Paul Getty in Los Angeles and another of 95 by 61 cm is today with the museum of Western art in Tokyo. Moreover, Christ on the cross with Donors, 1585-90, is with the Museum of Louvre in Paris. What characterizes this version it is especially the sky with the background, the sky during the eclipse represented in an abstract way and the shape of the clouds which marries the contour of the cross. It is also the serene face of the Christ who does not appear to suffer physically and seems to give her heart in the hands of her father. There is also, and it is a characteristic of the mannerism, arms and a chest extremely lengthened, it is especially the chest which is disproportionate. The man has 12 pairs of coasts by including the coasts 11 and 12 which are said floating because without articulation with the sternum. The chest of the Christ who is represented here has some much more. One recognizes the famous green of Gréco which it also uses in its remarkable View of Toledo (1599). Christ is alone on the Golgotha mount, with the top of the bones which it dominates as it also will dominate death, the soldiers go back to Jerusalem which one perceives in the distance. The site Golgotha, form Greek for the arameen gulgota, “cranium”, returned in Latin by calvaria, “martyrdom”, is a hillock or a hill, it owes its name with its form, and not with craniums of the people carried out found in this place. This painting is put on sale by Sotheby's London on July 3, 2013 at 7.00. PM.
The horizon is low. But the point of view of the spectator, guided by the clouds, is irresistibly attracted by the face of Christ.
The face of Christ is on the high part of work, the landscape is on the low part.
The totality of the body of Christ is in front of the sky as if it formed already part of it. The remainder of painting, bellow, represents the landscape and the terrestrial world. The 2 parts are opposite like are the top and bottom.
Christ is in central position. With the intersection of the 2 large diagonals.
The face of Christ is serene and trustful. In other crucifixions of El Greco, as here on the right its expression is not the same one.
Of course these bones are there because the Golgotha mount is a place of sacrifices and setting to dead but symbolically as Christ is located above that means that it dominates physical death.
To the background the soldiers and the population turn over towards Jerusalem, leaving Christ only, always alive, one-to-one with the creator.
This sky of eclipse of abstract form gray, white, black and yellow has clouds whose form evokes a rise. Added to the position of the arms in cross Christ seems to take his take-off…
The light comes from in top on the right.
Colors: Cold and hot colors relatively close.
Similars Paintings :
El Greco. View of Toledo. (1599).
El Greco. Christ on The Cross in a Landscape with Horsemen.
El Greco Christ on The Cross Adored by Donors. (1585 - 90).