Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Descente de croix

Maurice Denis 1870-1943
Descente de croix / Descent from the cross 1901
Oil on canvas
116 by 130cm., 45½ by 51¼in.
Signed with monogram annd dated 1901 lower left
Private collection

Inspired by Raphael's The Deposition in the Galleria Borghese which he saw in 1898 when in Rome with André Gide

Denis' wife Marthe is depicted holding the shroud, while Denis portays himself taking the nails out of Christ's hands.

His friend, the poet Adrien Mithouard holds Christ's body, while his wife can be seen proffering a bouquet of flowers.

Denis furthermore placed the scene in his home town of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, visible in the background.

The frame for Descente de croix was custom made and painted by his wife Marthe.