Kunsthalle Bremen Alte Meister Gemälde und Skulpturen [1008-1969/6]

Christ as Man of Sorrows

Christus als Schmerzensmann (Kunsthalle Bremen - Der Kunstverein in Bremen CC BY-NC-SA)
Provenance/Rights: Kunsthalle Bremen - Der Kunstverein in Bremen (CC BY-NC-SA)


This panel painting is considered to be an early work of one of the most prominent masters of the Late Gothic. The artist, whose identity is unknown, was active from 1480 to 1515 in the area around Utrecht, as well as in Cologne, receiving this designation from his famous Saint Bartholomew Altarpiece, now housed in the Alte Pinakothek, Munich. The Bremen panel shows the tormented Christ, facing the viewer with the Instruments of the Passion (Arma Christi). He looks at us with large, sorrowful eyes, pointing to the gaping wound in His side, while drops of blood run from His head to his shoulder and chest. The painting conveys the Passion of Christ with immediacy, and served as an image for private devotion, in keeping with the widespread religious practices connected with the Passion. This work first calls for the viewer’s pious compassion (compassio) and then his active emulation of it (imitatio). Sharing in the act of salvation and achieving a blessed state depended upon the pious intensity of the believer’s efforts. Such images helped the devout to receive indulgences, as certain prayer practices were connected with specific motifs.


Oil on oak with white ground


44.0 x 31.0 cm


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Kunsthalle Bremen

Object from: Kunsthalle Bremen

Vor über 160 Jahren wurde die Kunsthalle Bremen unweit des Bremer Marktplatzes erbaut, als erstes eigenständiges Haus für eine bürgerliche...

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