(b. 1475, Caprese, d. 1564, Roma)

Christ on the Cross

c. 1541
Black and white chalk, 368 x 268 mm
British Museum, London

This is a study for a painting commissioned by Vittoria Colonna in 1545. The painting, now lost, is known from copies. This drawing is the most significant among the existing studies.

Vasari commented the drawing: 'One sees the body not abandoned to fall like dead, but as if living, through bitter suffering arousing itself and writhing.'

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 11 minutes):
Georges de la Hele: Missa "Nigra sum"