Crucifixion Diptych by Rogier van der Weyden
The “Crucifixion Diptych” is a diptych from 1460, attributed to Rogier van der Weyden. The two panels are noteworthy for their technical skill and their severe impact.
This painting possesses a directness unusual for the art of the time in the Netherlands. The background to the panels is unknown, and there are many unanswered questions about this “Old Master Painting.”
The extreme starkness of this painting points to its creation as a devotional work, possibly for a monastery.
Some art historians have mentioned that the work seems unbalanced and lacking in symmetry, which might indicate a missing panel.
The speculation is that tier was a third panel on the right of Christ. The right panel depicts a Crucifixion scene, and the figures are almost two-thirds life-size.
Christ’s blood is visible and is amplified by the red cloth draped behind him. The body hangs from the arms, forming a Y-shaped figure.
The skull and bone, at the foot of the Cross, are symbolic of the first man, Adam.
Crucifixion scene on the right panel
The left panel shows the Virgin Mary, supported by Saint John. Both are dressed in sculptured folded robes and also presented before a draped red cloth.
The wall gives the effect of pushing the figures into the foreground. The dark sky is a direct reference to the scripture:
“Now, from the sixth hour, there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.” Matthew 27:45
Detail of the Mary and St. John panel.
Rogier van der Weyden’s surviving works consist mainly of religious triptychs, altarpieces, and commissioned single and diptych portraits. He was successful and internationally famous in his lifetime.
Christian art is sacred art which uses themes and imagery from Christianity.
Images of Jesus and narrative scenes from his life are the most common subjects, and scenes from the Old and New Testaments play a part in the art of many Christian denominations.
Christianity makes far more extensive use of images than other religions, in which figurative representations are forbidden, such as Islam and Judaism.
However, there is also a history of aniconism in Christian history.
- Title: Crucifixion Diptych
- Artist: Rogier van der Weyden
- Year: c. 1460
- Medium: Oil on oak panels
- Dimensions 180.3 × 93.8 cm (71.0 × 36.9 in); 180.3 × 92.6 cm (71.0 × 36.5 in)
- Museum: Philadelphia Museum of Art
Rogier van der Weyden
- Name: Rogier van der Weyden or Roger de la Pasture
- Born: 1399 – Tournai, Belgium
- Died: 1464 – Brussels, Belgium
- Nationality: Netherlands
- Famous Works:
Rogier van der Weyden’s “The Crucifixion, with the Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist Mourning”
WEYDEN, Rogier van der – Crucifixion Diptych
A Tour of the Philadelphia Museum of Art
- “The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons by J. M. W. Turner
- “The Large Bathers” by Auguste Renoir
- “Crucifixion Diptych” by Rogier van der Weyden
- “At the Moulin Rouge, The Dance” by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
- “The Large Bathers” by Paul Cézanne
- “The Death of Sardanapalus” by Eugène Delacroix
- “Noah’s Ark” by Edward Hicks
- “Prometheus Bound” by Frans Snyders
- “Woman with a Pearl Necklace in a Loge” by Mary Cassatt
Rogier van der Weyden, The Crucifixion, with the Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist Mourning
Explore Christian Art
- Christian Art
- The Creation Of Adam – Michelangelo
- The Last Supper – Leonardo da Vinci
- Pietà by Michelangelo
- “The Holy Trinity” by El Greco
- “Christ in the House of His Parents” by John Everett Millais
- Saint Helena by Andrea Bolgi
- Saint Longinus by Bernini
- Saint Andrew by Francois Duquesnoy
- Saint Veronica by Francesco Mochi
- “Saint Michael and the Dragon” by the Sienese School
- Black St George Icon
- “The Repentant Saint Peter” by El Greco
- “The Tears of Saint Peter” by El Greco
- “Saint Jerome as Scholar” by El Greco (The MET)
- “Saint Jerome Penitent” by El Greco
- “Saint Francis in the Desert” by Giovanni Bellini
- “Saint Luke painting the Virgin” by Master of the Holy Blood
- “Christ Falling on the Way to Calvary” by Raphael
- “Crucifixion” by Giovanni Donato da Montorfano
- Crucifixion Diptych” by Rogier van der Weyden
- “The Virgin and Child with St. Anne” by Leonardo da Vinci
- The Crucifixion and The Last Judgment Diptych by Jan van Eyck (MET)
- Annunciation Triptych (Merode Altarpiece) by Robert Campin (MET)
- The Belles Heures of Jean of France, Duke of Berry
- Wilton Diptych
- “The Raising of Lazarus” by Sebastiano del Piombo
- “Salvator Mundi” by Albrecht Dürer
- “Salvator Mundi” by Andrea Previtali
- “Baptism of Christ” by Jacopo Bassano
- “Crucifix” by Master of Saint Francis
- “The Virgin and Child” by Master of the Clarisse
- “The Virgin and Child Enthroned, with Narrative Scenes” by Margarito d’Arezzo
- “Samson and Delilah” by Peter Paul Rubens
- “The Annunciation” by Duccio
- “The Healing of the Man Born Blind” by Duccio
- Christ by Emmanuel Lambardos
- Pilgrim’s Bottle of Saint Menas
- “Massacre of the Innocents” by Peter Paul Rubens
- “Christ and the Woman of Samaria” by Rembrandt
- “The Last Supper” by Ugolino di Nerio
- “The Madonna of the Pinks” by Raphael
- “Mary Magdalene” by Girolamo Savoldo
- “Supper at Emmaus” by Caravaggio
- “Virgin of the Rocks” by Leonardo da Vinci
- “Saint George and the Dragon” by Tintoretto
- Madonna in the Meadow by Raphael
- The Alba Madonna by Raphael
- Small Cowper Madonna by Raphael
- “Adoration of the Magi” by Botticelli
- “Judith Slaying Holofernes” by Artemisia Gentileschi
“Is it not wonderful news to believe that salvation lies outside ourselves?”
– Martin Luther
Photo Credit: 1) By Rogier van der Weyden, Netherlandish (active Tournai and Brussels), 1399/1400 – 1464 (1399 – 1464) – Artist/Maker (Netherlandish (active Tournai and Brussels)) Born in Tournai, Belgium. Dead in Brussels, Belgium. Details of artist on Google Art Project [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 2) Rogier van der Weyden (1399/1400–1464) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons