- Museum number
The large Crucifixion; nocturnal scene with Christ on the Cross placed obliquely at centre left; the Virgin seated in right foreground, comforted by the Maries and St John; another female figure in left foreground, Mary Magdalene kneeling next to the cross. c.1515-7
- Production date
- 1515-1517 (circa)
Height: 146 millimetres
Width: 100 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Altdorfer's production of engravings (seventy-eight) almost equals that of his woodcuts (ninety-three). In both techniques, he is concerned with rendering the visible in minute detail and nowhere is this more evident than in the Large Crucifixion. Through the combination of stippling, cross-hatching and closely spaced parallel lines Altdorfer conveys the sense that an extraordinary event has taken place. The sky seems to be closing in and the white mountain and ghostly trees encircle the scene. Some of the trees are curved, as if they are paying attention to the events below. In the centre, Christ's head is set against a penumbra of light as he gazes towards his collapsed mother. This print is a perfect demonstration of how much emotional power can be conveyed through such a small image.
From M. McDonald, 'Ferdinand Columbus: Renaissance Collector', exh. cat., BM, London, 2005, cat.no. 70.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2004 Jun-Jul, Madrid, 'LaCaixa', Ferdinand Columbus
2004 Oct-Dec, Seville, Salon Alto del Apeadero, Ferdinand Columbus
2008 Feb-Mar, BM P&D Easter display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Inscribed with Lugt 2646 and dated 1811 on verso.
Also inscribed there with Lugt 2617: 'Altdorfer/ WE Graveé sale 1827 No 24x'
1842,0806.1 to 321 were all purchased from W & G Smith, who had acquired the collection of Joseph Harding, from whom they all came. The acquisition was recommended to the Trustees by Josi on 31 March and 29 April 1841, but only purchased in 1842.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number