The Passion: Christ in Limbo

c. 1480
(German, c.1450–1491)
Support: Laid paper
Sheet: 16.5 x 11.7 cm (6 1/2 x 4 5/8 in.)
Catalogue raisonné: L 29; TIB 8 comm., pt. 1, 0801.029
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

This image of Christ trampling a monstrous demon and piercing it with his cross recalls the one of Archangel Michael in another print by Martin Schongauer (1952.99).


Martin Schongauer's series The Passion of Christ was his largest set of engravings, made around 1480, and extensively copied across Europe. It consists of 12 prints detailing the suffering of Christ in the last days of his life. Schongauer's version focuses on crowded scenes, grotesque physiognomies of Christ's tormentors, and great pathos in the compositions. Here, Schongauer represented the episode in which Christ, between his death and resurrection, descended into Limbo to bring salvation to the righteous ones who had died before him. Christ majestically strides over a vanquished demon crushed under his foot, and holds Adam's hand with his left hand.
The Passion: Christ in Limbo

The Passion: Christ in Limbo

c. 1480

Martin Schongauer

(German, c.1450–1491)
Germany, 15th Century

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