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The Descent from the Cross (La descent de croix)

James Tissot

European Art

In an image that recalls centuries of precedents, Christ’s loved ones have gathered to draw down his body for burial. Each nail is carefully removed, Tissot explains, before the legs are swathed in linen and the body, held in a long band of material, is slowly lowered into the upraised arms of the Virgin Mary, who is clad in blue. She is joined by the Magdalene, who once more wipes the feet of Jesus, and Saint John the Evangelist, who stands at the foot of the cross holding the shroud with which Jesus will be wrapped.
MEDIUM Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES 1886-1894
    DIMENSIONS Image: 13 1/4 x 9 9/16 in. (33.7 x 24.3 cm) Sheet: 13 1/4 x 9 9/16 in. (33.7 x 24.3 cm) Frame: 20 x 15 x 1 1/2 in. (50.8 x 38.1 x 3.8 cm)
    SIGNATURE Signed bottom center: "J.J. Tissot"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 00.159.320
    CREDIT LINE Purchased by public subscription
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