Painting by Rubens "the descent from the cross" – a religious penance

Painting by Rubens “the descent from the cross"(1612 -1914 years) – the second of the great altarpieces of the painter, which was written for the Cathedral of our lady in Antwerp.

Historical piece

the Work is composed of three parts. Left – “two sisters" Central – “the descent from the cross" right – “Meet”. “the descent from the cross” – the painting of Rubens, written in the Baroque style under the influence of the Venetian school. Colors and chiaroscuro reminiscent of the work of Caravaggio's Roman period, which marked the beginning of realism and from a young age thought about the impermanence of life.
Foundation is the Central panel 421х311 see the Two side are equal in height to her, and in width are 153 see Painting by Rubens “the descent from the cross" was written for one of the side chapels of the chapel of the Guild of arquebusiers. This piece never left Flanders. Only Napoleon, having conquered the country in 1794, brought with him to Paris. After his defeat in 1815, the painting of Rubens “the descent from the cross" has returned home.

Mary and Elizabeth

the Left panel describes the meeting of Mary and Elizabeth after the Annunciation, when the middle-aged and childless Elizabeth was finally pregnant.


At this time, the baby leaped in the womb of Mary, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy spirit, and solemnly and enthusiastically informed the mother of her future. There is speculation that Rembrandt's model, Mary served as a young pregnant wife Isabella Brandt. From left to right we see the Savior's life – a picture of Rubens “the descent from the cross”.

the center of the composition

In the center pane consists of nine figures. Compositionally they are located diagonally. It gives dynamism to the action. Holding the fabric with your hands and teeth, the workers who are at the top, gently and carefully remove Christ's body from the stairs.

Saint John in red robes standing with one foot on the stairs. His whole figure bent to keep the body energetically. So it depicts “the descent from the cross" Rubens. One of the feet of the Savior, with blood traces of the nail, easily refers to the beautiful shoulder of Mary Magdalene, Golden hair.

the Body of Christ with the fallen on the shoulder of the head, which is not disfigured by death, provide the most accurate picture of the bitter end of a life. This tells the painting of Rubens “the descent from the cross". The body of Christ without force gliding across the veil, which is all carefully support. The Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, located on the sides of the stairs, together with the workers form a square. The lady in the blue mourning clothes reaches out to the Son. In the right corner near the stairs is the copper basin, which contains nails, crown of thorns and the Crucifixion in dried blood. Daylight goes out. The crowd of the curious had left.

Left panel-the place of meeting

it shows the former Roman Repel, and now Saint columbanus the patron of the order of Arquebusiers, which was commissioned by the picture, welcoming the Holy child to carry him across the river.


the Child was very heavy, so as I was carrying all the burdens of the world. Later, Christ baptized the giant Repave under the name Christopher.
“the descent from the cross” – a picture by Rubens, in which he wittingly or unwittingly showed their technical prowess in all its splendor. Rubens created the image of Christ, revealing it in its entirety. The artist became not only the great secular, but also the greatest religious artist. Color, form and composition gave an explanation, interpret the faith of his contemporaries. This concludes the description of the painting by Peter Rubens “the descent from the cross”.