Eyes to behold stunning artworks in world-class museums.


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Christ is a central figure in Christianity, and is also revered in other faiths such as Islam. Christ is often depicted in artworks as a teacher or prophet, and is often shown surrounded by other important figures from the Bible. The artworks in The Metropolitan Museum that depict Christ provide a glimpse into how different cultures and religions have represented this important figure over time.

Christ Carrying the Cross, called "The Lord of the Fall"

The American Wing / The Met

    This work belongs to the genre of "statue painting," that is, painted simulacra of sacred images.
    As a "true likeness" of a cult image, it was believed to possess the miraculous powers of the original, a sculpture of Christ the Nazarene venerated in the Cusco church of San Francisco.
    The effectiveness of this type of painting depended on its veracity, a demand that led to the depiction not only of sculptures, but the altars and shrines where they were venerated.


The Cloisters / The Met

    The Crucifix is meant to be seen from both front and back.
    The Crucifix is from Romanesque Spain.
    The Crucifix is attributed to the later convent of Santa Clara at Astudillo, near Palencia, but the source is not reliable.

The Crucifixion with the Virgin and Saint John

Dutch, The Hague? 1588–1629 Utrecht / The Met

    Painted roughly a century after the other works in this gallery, Ter Brugghen's scene of Christ's crucifixion draws on the dramatic, emotional appeal of earlier religious art to inspire the private prayers of a Catholic viewer.
    The Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist, who flank the cross, provide surrogates for the viewer's agonized beholding of the crucifixion.

Processional cross

European Sculpture and Decorative Arts / The Met

    This object is a repository for a relic believed to be a fragment of the True Cross.
    It is thought to have been made for a convent of the Poor Clares, probably in Florence.
    It is an extraordinary example of Florentine Renaissance metalwork, incorporating within its silver-gilt frame a series of twenty silver plaques with nielloed scenes depicting the Passion of Christ and various saints.

Christ's Descent into Hell

Netherlandish, second quarter 16th century / The Met

    Bosch's fiery hell scenes were enormously popular throughout Europe in the sixteenth century.
    A vast, desolate landscape with a burning city at the right and the river Styx at the left is the setting for this nightmarish vision, in which Christ breaks down the gates of hell to rescue the souls of the just.
    Gesturing in supplication towards him, Adam and Eve kneel on top of a ruinous tower.
   Behind them, Old Testament figures climb the winding stairs from the depths of hell, among them Abraham and Isaac with the sacrificial ram, and Noah with a model of the ark

The Holy Family

Netherlandish, Cleve ca. 1485–1540/41 Antwerp / The Met

    The Joos van Cleve Netherlandish, Cleve ca.
   1485 - 1540/41 Antwerp and his workshop were prolific in their creation of depictions of the Holy Family
    Of the many versions of this subject produced by the master and his studio, the Lehman picture can be placed within a smaller subgroup featuring a landscape view behind Saint Joseph as well as an upright Christ Child.
    The Joos van Cleve workshop and their followers included subtle - and sometimes more dramatic - variations on this popular scene, other examples of which can be seen in the Met's collection (Friedsam collection, 32.100.57 and Linsky collection, 1982.60.47).

The Supper at Emmaus

Spanish, Seville 1599–1660 Madrid / The Met

    This painting depicts the moment after the Resurrection when Jesus is recognized by two disciples as "he took bread, blessed and broke it, and handed it to them."
    The subject provided Velázquez the opportunity to explore contrasts in reactions through gesture, expression, and use of dramatic lighting.
    He may have painted it in Seville, where he first trained, or in Madrid, where he moved in 1623.

The Lamentation

Spanish, Plasencia (?) 1510/11–1586 Alcántara / The Met
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