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Christ with Joseph of Arimathea

Christ with Joseph of Arimathea

c. 1525

Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo

(Italian, c. 1480-aft.1548)

Oil on wood

Framed: 138 x 223.5 x 14 cm (54 5/16 x 88 x 5 1/2 in.); Unframed: 105 x 191.8 cm (41 5/16 x 75 1/2 in.)

Gift of the Hanna Fund 1952.512

Description

After the Crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea obtained permission to bury Christ’s body in Joseph’s own tomb. Aside from an amorphous, cloudy sky, Savoldo eliminated the background entirely and reduced the narrative to two monumental figures, brought to the front of the picture plane. These qualities surely had a great impact on Caravaggio, who initially trained in Northern Italy, where Savoldo spent his career. This work originally hung over a large altarpiece, which explains the unusual perspective, the panel’s horizontal shape, and the figures’ position above the viewer.

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