Elevation of The Cross by Peter Paul Rubens, 1610-1611
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Cleary influenced by Rubens' travels to Italy, The Elevation of the Cross tryptich is of a close resemblance with the Renaissance painting and the Italian Baroque Art, mostly Caravaggio. Currently hosted at the Cathedral of Our Lady, in Anvers, Belgium. Oil on canvas, 462 _ 341 cm.
In 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 thieves.
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 18th century by order of the church-authorities.
Popular Works by Peter Paul Rubens
The Deposition (1602) • St Sebastian (1614) • St George Fighting the Dragon (1606-1610) • The Incredulity of St Thomas (1613-1615) • Immaculate Conception (1628) • Massacre of the Innocents (1637) • St Francis of Assisi Receiving the Stigmata (1635) • The Adoration of the Magi (1624) • Last Supper (1631-1632) • The Lamentation 1 (1614) • The Four Evangelists (1614) • The Entombment (1611-1612) • Martyrdom of St Thomas (1639) • St James the Apostle (1612-1613) • The Road to Calvary (1634-1637) • The Stigmatization of St Francis (1616)
Rubens Mythological Paintings
The Head of Medusa (1617) • Garden of Love (1638) • Prometheus Bound (1610-1611) • The Rape of Europa (1630) • The Three Graces (1639) • The Judgement of Paris (1606) • Perseus and Andromeda (1620-1621) • Nature Adorning the Three Graces (1615) • The Battle of the Amazons (1618)
Rubens Allegorical Paintings
The Consequences of War (1637-1638) • Cleopatra (1615) • The Four Continents (1615) • The Triumph of Victory (1614) • Allegory on the Blessings of Peace (1629-1630) • The Union of Earth and Water (1618)
Rubens Biblical Scenes
Judith with the Head of Holofernes (1616) • The Massacre of the Innocents (1611-1612) • Samson and Delilah (1609-1610) • Bathsheba at the Fountain (1635)
Rubens Large Projects For Royal Orders
The Landing of Marie de Medicis at Marseilles (1623-1625) • The Triumph of Truth (1622-1625) • The Meeting of Marie de Medicis and Henri IV at Lyon (1622-1625) • The Fates Spinning Marie's Destiny (1622-1625) • Marie de Medicis as Bellona (1622-1625)
Rubens Altarpieces In Antwerp Cathedral
Assumption of the Virgin 1 (1626) • Descent from the Cross (1611-1614)
The Death of Seneca (1612-1613) • Isabella Brandt 1 (1626)
Return of the Prodigal Son (1618)