BAEGERT, Derick
(b. ca. 1440, Wesel?, d. ca. 1515, Wesel?)

The Bearing of the Cross

c. 1490
Oil on panel
Westfälisches Landesmuseum, Münster

In the late fifteenth century, Wesel in the Lower Rhine was an important art centre, as demonstrated with the recently discovered oeuvre of Derick Baegert. His Bearing of the Cross does not merely describe Christ on the road to Calvary, but it evokes metaphorical associations through elaboration of the narrative. Without violating the meaning of the Gospel text, the painting transcends literal interpretation. In continuous narrative, the painting elicits multiple associations. In the background, Christ can be witnessed already hanging on the cross, as his betrayer Judas commit suicide from a nearby tree.