Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Elevation of the Cross Peter Paul Rubens

The Elevation of the Cross Peter Paul RubensIn 1610 when, according to tradition, Rubens had completed the St. Ildefonso altar-piece, he executed another work for the Walpurgis-church at Antwerp. This is the celebrated Elevation of the Cross, now in the transept of the cathedral at Antwerp. There is in the Louvre a drawing for this picture, giving an idea of the whole composition which, when finally executed, was divided into three parts. The Elevation of the Cross in the centre: on the right the Weeping Women: on the left the Roman Centurion. The central-subject has been reproduced in numberless ancient and modern prints).

A thick darkness covers the sky whilst the Saviour, extended upon the Cross, turns his suffering face towards the last rays of the setting sun.
The whole attention of the spectator is attracted by this figure alone for all the other figures are unimportant. Their whole attention appears to be directed to raising the heavy cross, and preventing it from slipping from its intended position. On one of the wings may be seen the Centurion, surrounded by other men on horseback, giving his orders with all the pride of a Roman official behind him are the two malefactors.

On the other wing is a striking group of the Mourning Women, amid whom St. John supports the Holy Mother overwhelmed with grief. Originally there was a lunette above the central-portion of this Ancona, representing God the Father, toward whom the Crucified One was directing his gaze: and also a predella consisting of three small pictures. These pieces were sold separately in the l8'h century by order of the church-authorities.

TEXT CREDIT: Title: Rubens Translated by: Luise Marie Schwaab Richter. Publisher: Velhagen & Klasing, 1904. Original from: Harvard University. Digitized: Mar 3, 2009 Length: 168 page

This Image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to the United States, where Works published prior to 1923 are copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF from the U.S. Copyright Office. Works published before 1923 (in this case 1610-1611) are now in the public domain.

This file is also in the public domain in countries that figure copyright from the date of death of the artist (post mortem auctoris in this case Sir Peter Paul Rubens (June 28, 1577 – May 30, 1640) and that most commonly runs for a period of 50 to 70 years from December 31 of that year.

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