(b. ca. 1478, Maubeuge, d. 1532, Middelburg)

Christ on the Cold Stone

c. 1530
Oil on panel, 112 x 84 cm
Real Colegio del Corpus Christi, Valencia

This painting is also known as the Man of Sorrows. Christ is depicted here as the melancholy hero whose taut musculature and profoundly distraught expression reveal the depth of his anguish. The physical bulk of the figure and the exaggerated modeling of his muscular form led some early on to identify him as Samson. Gossart did not separate biblical from mythological subject matter in his continuing development of the sculptural form of the body as a way to convey meaning. The common source for several of the male figures in his late paintings was the Belvedere Torso.

Gossart's completion of the fragment may have been inspired by Marcantonio Raimondi's signed and dated engraving, the Mars, Venus, and Eros of 1508. In the unimpeded view and detailed articulation of the musculature of the torsos, Gossart's Christ and Raimondi's Mars bear a striking resemblance.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.