GOGH, Vincent van
(b. 1853, Groot Zundert, d. 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise)

Pietà (after Delacroix)

September 1889, Saint-Rémy
Oil on canvas, 74 x 62 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Catalogue numbers: F 630, JH 1775.

This painting was executed after a painting by Delacroix.

In September 1889, van Gogh did two copies of Delacroix's famous painting. Nothing could convey more clearly his need to record his own crisis in the features of another than these two copies. The face of the crucified Christ in the lap of a grieving Mary quite unambiguously has van Gogh's own features. The painter was to attempt this daring stroke once more, in his interpretation of Rembrandt's The Raising of Lazarus. Here, van Gogh gave his own features to a Biblical figure, who, like Christ, passed through Death into new Life.

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