Skip to main content

Marco Zoppo, The Dead Christ supported by Saints

Key facts
Full title The Dead Christ supported by Saints
Artist Marco Zoppo
Artist dates about 1432 - about 1478
Date made about 1465
Medium and support Egg on wood
Dimensions 26.4 × 21 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1857
Inventory number NG590
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Dead Christ supported by Saints
Marco Zoppo

This type of image, in which Christ is shown after his death, propped up or sometimes standing in his tomb and revealing the wounds of the Crucifixion, was sometimes known as the ‘Imago Pietatis’ (‘image of pity’), or pietà.

Standing behind him are Saint Jerome, on the right, who cradles Christ’s head, and Saint John the Baptist. Both spent time in the wilderness in poverty and devotion, making them suitable for this kind of image, which was intended to promote empathy with the suffering of Christ. The inclusion of the two saints with Christ is unusual, however: it was more common for him to be shown propped up by angels.

Images of the dead Christ often formed the uppermost part of a polyptych (multi-panelled altarpiece) but as the reverse of this one is decorated, it’s likely that it was made to be held and moved around as a portable focus for prayer.

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