This is a spectacular, large, and very fine 17th century oil on canvas of Christ being raised upon the cross at Golgotha by eight executioners, witnessed by Mary Magdalene, the Virgin Mary and a group of weeping women and children. To the left, a Roman officer on horseback directs the elevation of the cross, as soldiers in the background are crucifying the two thieves.

This important Old Master is typical of the work of the studio of Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) who produced several versions of both the raising of the cross, and Christ’s descent following his crucifixion.

The most famous painter in northern Europe during the seventeenth century, Peter Paul Rubens’ dynamic, emotional style full of rich colour and spectacular detail has influenced Western art to the present day. Amongst Rubens’ many major innovations was his use of smaller oil studies as compositional sketches for his much larger pictures; a method widely adopted by artists ever since. It is possible that the painting being sold here is just such a work. Rubens managed a very large studio in Antwerp, training many apprentices and employing independent colleagues to help execute specific projects.

Dimensions: (framed) cm x cm (” x 31½”)
Dimensions: (canvas only) 125cm x 64cm (49” x 25”)
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Provenance: Important Private London Collection
Presentation: Immaculate English baroque scrolled frame.
Condition: Excellent. Professionally cleaned. Relined and restored circa 1880 by James Wyatt’s of Oxford. Ready to hang.

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