Museums and Art

“Combining clothes with Christ”, El Greco - description of the painting

“Combining clothes with Christ”, El Greco - description of the painting

The combination of clothes with Christ - El Greco. 285 x 173 cm.

In 1577, El Greco tried to gain a foothold in Toledo. One of his first orders here was a painting on a very rare religious subject - Christ was pulled off his clothes before being sent to the cross. The painting was ordered by the cathedral to be placed in a central place where it is still located.

The work was very narrative and emotional. In the center of the composition, El Greco placed Christ. He is dressed in a bright, red, loose tunic. The crowd surrounds the Savior in a dense ring and it seems as if the figure of Jesus is floating limply in this seething stream of fierce or, conversely, indifferent faces.

One warrior prepares a cross, hammering nails into a tree, the other lifts a hand over Christ to take off his clothes. In the foreground in the lower left corner, the viewer sees three women who seem to be frozen, falling into a daze, looking at the cruel murder weapon - the cross. These are the three Marys who came to escort Jesus to execution.

Some carry out routine work, others suffer and only the martyr himself does not pay attention to what is happening. His eyes are raised high into the sky with humility and prayer, and his face seems to glow from within. The face of Christ stands out sharply against the background of the warriors, because their author of the picture depicted in darker colors, emphasizing that their souls are immersed in darkness, while the soul of the condemned to execution is enlightened and pure.

It is worth noting that the clergy of Toledo did not like the picture. According to them, El Greco deviated from the important religious canons of the writing of the Savior. In particular, the figure of Christ is below some other heroes of the picture, while tradition provided that he should rise above everyone. However, despite the murmurs of orthodoxes, the canvas was exhibited in the cathedral, which only increased the fame of El Greco, providing the talented master with many orders.

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