WEYDEN, Rogier van der
(b. 1400, Tournai, d. 1464, Bruxelles)

Crucifixion Diptych

c. 1460
Oil on oak panel, 180 x 186 cm
Museum of Art, Philadelphia

This large diptych is the reverse side of triptych wings of a carved retable. Mary swoons backward into the arms of St John in the left panel. The draperies of the attenuated bodies fall into long, open arcs and are painted in a grisaille technique with only light tints of pink and blue brushed into the white. The trail of the Virgin's mantle overlaps the right panel, where the figure of Christ on the cross appears as some monumental sculpture. The setting is abstracted except for a narrow undulating stage with a skull and thighbone indicating Golgotha. Behind the three figures a high wall of gray stone bars any view of a landscape, and a red cloth of honour further isolates the figures on each panel.