You are here:

Descent from the Cross

Descent from the Cross

1653

Adam Lenckhardt

(German, 1610-1661)

Ivory

Overall: 44.8 x 16.5 x 12.1 cm (17 5/8 x 6 1/2 x 4 3/4 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1967.134

Fun Fact

Carved from a single elephant tusk, the artist took special care to ensure the ivory did not crack or break as he meticulously crafted each figure in this visually exciting sculpture. Look closely to find tools and small objects included near its base.

Description

Carved from a single piece of ivory for Prince Karl Eusebius von Liechtenstein of Vienna, this work is a true tour-de-force. It took Lenckhardt seven years to complete; it is his last known sculpture and the pinnacle of his career. The biblical accounts of the descent from the cross found in the gospels are not consistent, which may contribute to the difficulty in precisely identifying the figures. The Virgin Mary, Saint John, Mary Magdalene, and others were said to be present, but undoubtedly there are other disciples here mourning Christ’s death. The intense emotion registers on the faces of the figures in the scrupulous and exquisitely detailed work.

See also
Collection: 
Sculpture
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Medium: 
Ivory

Contact us

Request a digital file from image services

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

Is something not working on this page? Please email help.website@clevelandart.org.