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The Dead Christ and Two Weeping Angels


Gerrit van Honthorst, also known as Gherardo delle Notti (Utrecht, 1590–1656)
Dead Christ with Two Weeping Angels
oil on canvas,1612-13
The Queen’s Chamber

While the unusual subject of angels mourning the dead Christ does not appear in the Bible, it is part of the devotional tradition of the lamentation. There are generally two angels, who either support the body of Jesus and present it to viewer or, as in this case, weep bitterly over it as it lies in the centre of the composition. The setting is Christ’s tomb at night. The light of the candle dominates the entire composition, shining brightly on the neck and the chest of the angel on the right and playing more tenuously on Christ’s abdomen before fading into and warming the background. Both the anatomical details and the drapery in the foreground are rendered with great naturalism. The painting displays the unmistakable hallmarks of Gerard or Gerrit von Honthorst, who visited Rome at the beginning of his career and became acquainted there with the works of the Italian masters and especially Caravaggio.

  • Gerrit van Honthorst
  • olio su tela, 1612-1613
  • olio su tela
  • Salotto della Regina