Saturday, April 07, 2007

Crucifixion Scenes in Art

Hi all,
With Easter Sunday almost upon us it seemed umm… an apt time to peruse suitable imagery to reflect this moment in the Christian calendar. Well it seems the National Gallery has aired a few of their gems in a series of 12 pictures called Crucifixion scenes in art which you can see at the Guardian Unlimited website. Featuring the likes of El Greco and Michelangelo, to name but a few.

My personal favourite is Christ Mocked (The Crowning with Thorns) by Hieronymus Bosch (c1490-1500) Anyone familiar with Bosch’s work will know he was a particularly gruesome fellow who usually glorified in all manner of medieval torture and depictions of hell, fire and brimstone. (So, basically like most of today's TV Soaps!) However, here we see a more restrained, indeed moving scene as Christ (surrounded by his tormentors) gazes, almost with a hint of reflective irony, out at us as though to convey the unimportance of his physical torments.

But what I really like about this painting is the way Bosch creates his desired effect by squeezing those figures (sardine fashion) into the picture plane. Wham! So giving it very little depth, but creating maximum pictorial impact as the those packed figures push out towards us. Nice one Hieronymus!

Crucifixion scenes in art

Happy Easter