Christ on the Cross - Francisco de Zurbaran. 290 x 168 cm
The painting “Christ on the Cross” is the most famous work of the “Spanish Caravaggio”, and this is exactly what they called Francisco de Zurbaran during his lifetime. Concise and simple in composition, the picture is striking in its monumentality and “sculpturality”. This work is recognized as the best in the anatomical accuracy of the image of a person among the entire heritage of Spanish painting.
De Zurbaran painted all his paintings from nature, while avoiding overloading with elements. Moreover, the author deliberately deprived his canvases of any genre - he simply knew how to see beauty in the ordinary and to portray simply and concisely the great.
The presented work clearly demonstrates all the style features of the painter. Jesus at Zurbaran is noticeably different from the interpretation of El Greco, who lived and worked in Spain several decades earlier than his compatriot - there is no frenzy, drama, speaking emotions. Christ on the cross is calm and noble. Behind external restraint lies religiousness, piety, and the incomprehensible mighty will.
Having looked at this work, which is already almost 400 years old, one can only admire how the filigree and carefully painter portrayed a naked body - each muscle of the tormented Christ is spelled out with unsurpassed accuracy and amazing beauty.
The master completely abandoned the background so that the viewer focused only on the hero and the specific moment. De Zurbaran depicted exactly the moment when Christ was still alive, but the forces had already left his body. His head fell on his chest and the viewer sees exactly that moment when Christ is ready to accept his death. However, in this barely perceptible moment there is nothing dramatic, only humility and boundless, sincere nobility. But from this the picture also receives this stern monumentality. The canvas is a carrier not only of the plot, but also of deep philosophical content.