A remake of the traditional Golgotha crucifixion scene. On the right is a horribly distended figure, hanging precariously from a cross that leans out toward the viewer. He represents the left thief, or, the bad thief. He looks out toward the viewer. At the bottom center is a hooded Mary figure, her face shielded from view. At the far left, another cross contains the regular, "sleeping" form of another crucified man, but without the distention of the first. On the ground between the two is the empty cross of Christ, marked by the INRI signed nailed into its top. Along the center of the image, in the background, a file of viewers move from right to left, one of whom carries a ladder. Clouds can be seen in the sky.
A remake of the traditional crucifixion scene, showing a distended left thief (the bad thief) looking out at the viewer while Christ's cross is empty and the right-hand thief (the good thief) has died a serene death. Viewers in the background walk past.
Watercolor on paper
Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection, 2007/2.90
The Left Thief (Der linke Schächer)
Pen and ink on paper
Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection, 2007/2.100
Like Dix’s reworking of da Vinci, many Expressionists remained drawn to traditional subject matter, despite their rebellion against the formal art establishment. Both Oscar Kokoschka and Alfred Kubin turned to biblical stories as sources but depicted these scenes in their own individual manner.
Kokoschka’s Crucifixion utilizes traditional iconography: Mary and John at the foot of the cross and a goblet in the foreground, a symbol of Christ’s blood. Yet Kokoschka’s forceful style dominates, as figures become linear contours and scale is abandoned.
Kubin’s Crucifixion, a preparatory study for his print Golgotha, omits Christ altogether—the cross lies empty on the ground—and instead focuses on the left thief, the “bad thief” who does not repent of his sins. The “good thief” hangs peacefully in the background while the misery of the bad thief, now alone and alienated as Mary and the spectators descend from the hilltop, emanates from his horribly distorted body and cynical gaze.
Partial watermark visible in paper.
RECTO. Signed by artist in ink, lower right, outside drawn frame: Kubin
Inscribed in pencil along bottom left edge: der linke Schaecher (In German: the left thief, or "Schächer")
VERSO. Inscribed in pencil, bottom left corner: 19
As a collector, connoisseur, and amateur artist, the erudite Zanetti was an important figure in 18th-century Venetian and European culture. In order to make them better known, he reproduced a large group of drawings he had purchased by the 16th-century Mannerist artist Parmigianino. He thought it fitting to use, and at the same time try to revive, a printmaking process that flourished in Parmigianino's time but was dying in Zanetti's own—chiaroscuro woodcut. This method uses different woodblocks for each tone to produce a sense of dimension. Zanetti published these woodcuts, along with several engravings, in a deluxe volume issued in few editions and in a restricted number of copies. Zanetti himself decorated the mounts for each of the album pages, as in our example. Twenty of the prints were dedicated to other celebrated collectors. The inscription at the bottom of our print is to Zanetti's Parisian friend and fellow collector Pierre-Jean Mariette.
The Museum's image is based on one of many drawings that Parmigianino made while creating his painting "The Madonna with the Long Neck."
Exhibition label text for "Venice, Traditions Transformed," September 21, 1996 - January 12, 1997 by Annette Dixon and Monika Schmitter.
This miniature depicting a scene from the childhood of Christ marked the Hour of None in the Office of the Virgin. The existence of many miniatures from this period with the same basic composition indicates that it was painted using a pattern-sheet. Such short-cuts facilitated production as demand for books of hours increased.
This print exemplifies the great degree to which artists are in dialogue with each other across time. Around the end of the sixteenth century Haarlem printmaker Hendrick Goltzius, like many of his artist colleagues, paid homage to the early sixteenth-century master Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471–1528). Goltzius evoked the earlier master’s work through the small size of the present image and the placement of Goltzius’ own monogram in sharp perspective in the near foreground. For the present print Goltzius was reminded of an engraving by Dürer in which the corpse-like child on the lap of the mourning Madonna and a pitch-black sky foretell Christ’s death. Instead of the child, however, he looked back to the celebrated Pietà of Michelangelo (Italian, 1475–1564), which Goltzius would have seen in Rome in 1590–1591. As in Michelangelo’s sculpture, the body of Christ depicted in this work is beautifully radiant yet utterly lifeless.
Marcantonio Raimondi’s fame is based largely on his role as the great engraver of the works of the Italian painter Raphael. Working not from finished paintings but from drawings furnished by members of Raphael’s workshop, Marcantonio found equivalents in the engraving medium to render Raphael’s solid sculptural form and atmospheric ambience. Influenced by engraving techniques of Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) and Lucas van Leyden (1494-1533), Marcantonio developed a system of modeling using curved parallel lines for roundness, dense crosshatching for strong shadow, and stipples or flecks for lighter areas.
This engraving is one of several that Marcantonio and his assistants created based on drawings for several paintings designed by Raphael. All show members of the Holy Family in architectural or landscape settings, with ruins or objects such as a cradle or a heavy curtain. In the foreground of this image the Virgin is shown seated holding the Christ Child on her lap. The figure with outstretched hands who stands behind the Virgin is probably her mother, St. Anne, who is typically shown near the Virgin, even encompassing her. The female figure to the left may be St. Elizabeth, the mother of St. John the Baptist. The putto, shown at the ewer and basin, is replaced by a young John the Baptist in other paintings on this theme.
Signed on block, l.c.: V G Inscriptions: Verre filis dei erat isse INRI Example with printed German text on back from one of the editions (1506-09) of "Der Text des passions oder lydens Christi..." publ. by Knobloch, Strassburg.
Mark, stamped in black, lower left: ? Pen flourish, l.l. (Could this be the mark of collector, Pierre Crozat, 1661-1740?) In pen, on front of mount: Guido Reni In pencil, on front of mount: Reni and 1?32 In pen, on back of mount: No 5. ?Guido Reni Zeich? In pencil, on back of mount: Lot 94 and 15.