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Monks and Holy Women mourning over the Dead Christ
After Massimo Stanzione
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Christ’s body has been taken down from the Cross and lies on the white shroud in which he will be placed in the tomb. Behind him is the Virgin Mary, eyes raised to heaven in grief, and alongside her Saint John the Evangelist, mopping his eyes with a handkerchief, and a second woman, probably Mary Magdalene. In the foreground, bending down to kiss Christ’s hands and feet, are two Carthusian monks, dressed in the white robes of their religious order.

This is a much-reduced copy of a large altarpiece painted for the Carthusian monastery in Naples by Massimo Stanzione, one of the leading Neapolitan painters of the seventeenth century. From 1630 Stanzione was almost constantly involved in large-scale church commissions in Naples, and he executed a number of works for the Carthusian monks in the church of the Certosa di San Martino; some of which, including the original of this composition, are still in situ. This copy may date from the eighteenth century and is unusual for being painted on slate.

Key facts
Artist After Massimo Stanzione
Artist dates about 1585? - 1656
Full title Monks and Holy Women mourning over the Dead Christ
Date made 18th century or earlier
Medium and support Oil on slate
Dimensions 43.7 x 52.4 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1919
Inventory number NG3401
Location in Gallery Not on display
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