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Austrian, The Trinity with Christ Crucified

Key facts
Full title The Trinity with Christ Crucified
Artist Austrian
Date made about 1410
Medium and support Egg on silver fir
Dimensions 118.1 × 114.9 cm
Acquisition credit Bought with a contribution from the Art Fund, 1922
Inventory number NG3662
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Trinity with Christ Crucified

This large painting shows the three divine beings of the Trinity: God the Father supports his son, Christ, who is shown crucified; he seems minute by comparison. The Holy Ghost is represented by a dove that hovers between the two. On either side, an angel kneels in adoration.

The simple colour scheme of green, red and white is striking against the gilded background. The patterned robes of the angels emulate damask and contrast with the austere simplicity of the white throne. The decoration was created using the sgraffito method, which involves painting over a layer of gold leaf and then scratching the paint away in areas. The inscriptions on the scrolls crossed around the angels’ necks were not intended to be legible.

This panel once formed the central part of an altarpiece with panels on either side – the hinge marks are still visible on either side of the frame, which is original to the picture (four panels in Rastenberg Castle, Austria, have been identified as the side panels).

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