MEMLING, Hans
(b. ca. 1440, Seligenstadt, d. 1494, Bruges)

Triptych of Adriaan Reins (central panel)

1480
Oil on oak panel, 43,8 x 35,8 cm
Memlingmuseum, Sint-Janshospitaal, Bruges

The principal scene is a Lamentation on Golgotha beneath a glowering evening sky. The body of Christ is stretched out on a shroud, laid across the Virgin's cloak. St John holds Jesus in a semi-upright position with his left hand, while carefully removing the crown of thorns from his brow with his right hand, a very unusual image in a painting from this period. The weeping Virgin kneels in prayer before the body, and Mary Magdalene wrings her hands in despair. Tears flow from the red-ringed eyes of the three holy figures. A road leads to Jerusalem on the left in the distance. Behind Mary Magdalene on the right, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea open the sarcophagus. The ointment jar and copper jug for washing the body stand ready.




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