Crucifixion in Art

Topics: Crucifixion of Jesus, Jesus, Mary Pages: 5 (1447 words) Published: May 23, 2010
Crucifixion in Art

University of Phoenix
June 23, 2009
Crucifixion in Art
Crucifixion was a method of capital punishment, amongst several different groups of people. The most famous Crucifixion that is often depicted in art is that of Jesus Christ. There are multiple methods of depiction, including painting. Three paintings were selected that reflect the crucifixion of Jesus Christ through the eyes of different artists from different time periods. The paintings selected were The Crucifixion by Simon Vouet, The Crucifixion by Carl Heinrich Bloch, and The Small Crucifixion by Matthias Grunewald. Historical Background

Crucifixion was an important method of capital punishment, mainly among the Persians, Seleucids, Carthaginians, and Romans from approximately the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD. The first Christian emperor, Constantine the Great, abolished crucifixion in the Roman Empire in AD 337, out of veneration for Jesus Christ, the most famous victim of crucifixion. Punishment

There were several methods of performing an execution. Normally the condemned man, were whipped, dragged the crossbeam of his cross to the place of punishment. The man was stripped from his clothing, either while dragging the crossbeam or at his scourging. The man was then bound fast with outstretched arms or nailed firmly to the cross. The crossbeam was then raised about nine to 12 feet from the ground. Over the criminals head was placed stating his name and his crime. Death was caused by exhaustion or by heart failure. Crucifixion was most frequently used to punish political or religious agitators, pirates, slaves or those who had no civil rights. Crucifixion of Jesus

Jesus Christ’s crucifixion in the Gospels begins with his scourging. The Roman Soldiers mocked him as the King of the Jews. The dressed him with a purple robe and crown of thorns and led him slowly to Mount Calvary, or Golgotha. Simon of Cyrene was allowed to aid him the cross.

Throughout the times many painters from around the world have created different paintings of Jesus Christ Crucifixion. One of the paintings is The Crucifixion, by leading French Baroque painter Simon Vouet, 1622. In this painting Vouet captures the agony of Jesus while in the cross. Jesus eyes looking at the sky demonstrates how without Jesus having to speak, he is looking at God and asking for forgiveness for those who crucified him for no reason. At the bottoms of the cross shaft Virgin Mary is seen in anguish because she sees his son suffering and in pain. Next to the cross on the left side of the picture angels are seen as a sign of coming to save Jesus and taking his soul to heaven where God awaits him. The Crucifixion, by Carl Heinrich Bloch is an art piece from 1870 in which the Savior Jesus Christ is shown being crucified on the cross. The artist, Carl Heinrich Bloch chose light and neutral colors. Normally in a setting as the Crucifixion, the darker and stormier the colors are, the more anguish is shown. In the oil on copper plate painting, there is an emphasis on the horizon of the sky. All the components in the artwork have a dark colored, yet still earthy and neutral motif versus Jesus Christ who is colored very lightly. This may be because it symbolizes that Jesus Christ is raised into heaven. In the painting, it shows a female lying down in what seems to be a fainting position. This female represents the Virgin Mary as she is shown in distraught over the crucifixion of Christ. In the painting, there is a strong and realistic approach towards enhancing the nailing of Christ’s hands and feet. When looking at his limbs, there is an overwhelming feeling wondering of what Jesus had to experience when he was crucified. There is also a light shining in an outline of Christ’s head as if there is an angel behind him ready to lift his soul and spirit into heaven. For the Savior Jesus Christ to sacrifice himself in such a horrific, yet heroic way, the only place the artist...

Cited: (2009). Painting Palace - Carl Heinrich Bloch. Retrieved June 20, 2009, from Painting Palace
Web site:
(2009). Carl Bloch: Biography. Retrieved June 20, 2009, from Carl Bloch Web site:
Campell, Patsy (2009). Simon Vouet: Information from Retrieved June 20, 2009,
from Web site:
Crucifixion. (2009). In Encyclopedia Britannica [Web]. Retrieved June 19, 2009, from
(2009). The Small Crucifixion. Retrieved June 20, 2009, from National Gallery of Art,
Washington, DC Web site:
(2009). Grünewald, Matthias. Retrieved June 22, 2009, from Web Gallery of Art Web site:
Pioch, Nicolas (2002, July 27). Web Museum: Grünewald, Matthias. Retrieved June 22, 2009,
from WebMuseum Web site:
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Essay about ART `
  • Crucifixion of Jesus Research Paper
  • Art assignment Essay
  • Art Essay
  • art essay
  • Art 107 Essay
  • Art history Essay
  • Perception in Art Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free