Skip to main content
Key facts
Full title Man on a Ladder
Artist Luca Signorelli
Artist dates about 1440/50 - 1523
Date made 1504-5
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 88.3 × 52 cm
Acquisition credit Accepted by HM Government in Lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the National Gallery, 2016
Inventory number NG6659
Location Room 61
Man on a Ladder
Luca Signorelli
/

This fragment of a larger painting shows an elderly man on a precarious descent down a ladder. His grip is obstructed by a pair of pincers, which he has used to extract the nails which secured Christ to the Cross. Signorelli was noted in his time for his skill at depicting the human body in a variety of complex poses, and here he has conveyed the contortion required for such a broad man to climb such a tall and narrow ladder.

The panel was part of an altarpiece showing the Lamentation of Christ at the Foot of the Cross made for the high altar of the church of Sant'Agostino in Matelica, a town in the Italian region of the Marche. Part of the haloed head of a saint, probably Saint John the Evangelist, is visible at the lower right. We know of other fragments which are now in collections across the world.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo