Jul 25, 2006

The Crucifixion with Four Angels

The Crucifixion with Four Angels

c. 1475

Martin Schongauer

(German, c.1450-1491)


Gift of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. 1947.483

Catalogue raisonné: Lehrs V.95.14


Did you know?

The collecting of Christ's blood in chalices by the angels in this composition refers directly to transubstantiation, or conversion of the Eucharistic elements into the body and blood of Christ during Roman Catholic mass.


Martin Schongauer engraved several variations of the Crucifixion, often inspired by fifteenth-century Netherlandish paintings of the same subject. Here, upon a realistic landscape, the exaggeratedly thin and emaciated body of Christ hangs on the cross.The Virgin Mary and Saint John the Evangelist are mourning Christ's death at each side of the cross. Four hovering angels catch the blood from Christ's wounds and collect it in chalices. At the bottom of the cross, a bone and the skull of Adam, lie on the ground, and allude to Golgotha, the site of Christ's crucifixion, believed to be the spot where Adam died. The development of early printing methods during the fifteenth century offered more people personal devotional images that were previously limited to less affordable media, like paintings, sculptures, or illuminated manuscripts. Images of the Crucifixion functioned as devotional tools meant to help the faithful to meditate on Christ's suffering, sacrifice, and the redemption of humanity.

See also
PR - Engraving
Type of artwork: 

Contact us

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.

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

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.