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Franz von Stuck

European Art

One of Germany’s leading Symbolists, Stuck frequently painted biblical or mythological subjects that addressed dark themes such as sin and death. Particularly interested in the narrative and details of the Crucifixion, Stuck devoted several canvases to this subject late in his career, during the difficult years of World War I. Calling on new scholarly theories regarding the Gospel accounts, Stuck departs from tradition and places Christ at eye level with the witnesses to his sufferings. The artist cleverly structures his composition, placing the viewer immediately to the left of the crucified thief in the foreground and to the right of the haloed Virgin Mary, thereby closing a solemn yet intimate circle. Stuck also chooses to show Christ with his feet side by side rather than overlapping—again, referencing nineteenth-century debates about the historical details of this method of execution.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: Europe
  • DATES 1917
    DIMENSIONS 46 7/8 x 48 1/4 x 3 3/16 in. (119.1 x 122.6 x 8.1 cm) frame: 47 x 48 1/4 x 3 3/16 in. (119.4 x 122.6 x 8.1 cm) image (site measurement of painting): 41 x 42 1/2 in. (104.1 x 108 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Lower right: "FRANZ/VON/STUCK/1917"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Alfred W. Jenkins
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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    CAPTION Franz von Stuck (German, 1863-1928). Golgotha, 1917. Oil on canvas, 46 7/8 x 48 1/4 x 3 3/16 in. (119.1 x 122.6 x 8.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Alfred W. Jenkins, 28.420 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 28.420_SL3.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 28.420_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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