The Prado

Madrid for kids

Rogier van der Weyden
Descent from the Cross, c1430

This painting is believed to be Rogier van der Weyden's masterpiece.
Is it a painting or a sculpture? You will probably need to go up quite close to be positive that this is a painting.  The gold background with shadows certainly tricks the eye into believing it is a sculpture.  There is no scene in the background, the unadorned background suggests a wall.
The subject of the painting is the removal of a dead Christ from the cross.  Christ's mother is in the blue dress and she has fainted with grief.  She is being supported by the discipile, John, in red and another lady.  Mary Magdalene is on the other side.  Weyden's skill at suggesting emotion and form are unsurpassed.  Look at how luminous Christ's body is, it is radiant and stunning.  Weyden used very expensive materials in the work, real gold and the blue lapis lazuli, a gem that painters ground up into a fine powder.

Joseph of Arithamaea___


There are 5 clickable areas on the painting.  Look for the hidden links to see the painting in greater detail.

If you have google earth you can view this painting in very high detail.  Just Click on masterpieces.

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