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Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, The Lamentation at the Foot of the Cross

Key facts
Full title The Lamentation at the Foot of the Cross
Artist Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo
Artist dates 1727 - 1804
Date made probably 1750-60
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 80 × 89.2 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Miss Emilie Yznaga, 1945
Inventory number NG5589
Location Room 39
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Lamentation at the Foot of the Cross
Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo

Christ’s lifeless body lies at the foot of the Cross, supported by the Virgin Mary; she gazes towards heaven in deep sorrow. Mary Magdalene clings to Christ’s left arm, unable to contain her grief, and Saint John the Evangelist buries his face in his red drapery. Two other men are still crucified: on the right is the ‘good thief’, who recognised Christ as the son of God and was saved; the ‘bad thief’, who was damned, has his back to us. The city of Jerusalem appears in the background.

This work may have been part of a series exploring the themes of the Passion (Christ’s torture and crucifixion). Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo was much influenced by Rembrandt, whose painting of the same subject, now in the National Gallery’s collection, likely inspired this one. Another Lamentation by Domenico is also the National Gallery’s collection – it is smaller in size and even more closely related to Rembrandt’s work.

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