Hendrick ter Brugghen (Dutch, The Hague? 1588–1629 Utrecht)
Oil on canvas
61 x 40 1/4 in. (154.9 x 102.2 cm)
Funds from various donors, 1956
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 631
This powerful image was probably painted for a Catholic "hidden church" in Ter Brugghen’s city of Utrecht, where Catholicism was tolerated but not encouraged. The artist, a Protestant, recaptures the devotional intensity of earlier German and Dutch altarpieces in his stark composition and in the angular figure of Christ. However, the rhythmic draperies, convincing volumes, and folkish figures of Mary and John recall Ter Brugghen’s experience of Caravaggio in Rome. The color combinations and hypnotic light are very much his own.
Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed: (lower center) HTB [monogram] fecit / 162[ ]; (on cross) IN RI
Christ Church, South Hackney, London (about 1898?–1956; sold for £75 to Foxell); Nigel Foxell, Oxford (1956; sale, Sotheby's, London, November 28, 1956, no. 115, to Sperling for MMA)
Dayton Art Institute. "Hendrick Terbrugghen in America," October 15–November 28, 1965, no. 9.
Baltimore Museum of Art. "Hendrick Terbrugghen in America," December 19, 1965–January 30, 1966, no. 9.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Masterpieces of Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 16–November 1, 1970, unnumbered cat. (p. 38).
Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Gods, Saints & Heroes: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt," November 2, 1980–January 4, 1981, no. 11.
Detroit Institute of Arts. "Gods, Saints & Heroes: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt," February 16–April 19, 1981, no. 11.
Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum. "God en de Goden: Verhalen uit de bijbelse en klassieke oudheid door Rembrandt en zijn tijdgenoten," May 18–July 19, 1981, no. 11.
Utrecht. Centraal Museum. "Nieuw Licht op de Gouden Eeuw: Hendrick ter Brugghen en tijdgenoten," November 13, 1986–January 12, 1987, no. 21.
Braunschweig. Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum. "Holländische Malerei in neuem Licht: Hendrick ter Brugghen und seine Zeitgenossen," February 12–April 12, 1987, no. 21.
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "Masters of Light: Dutch Painters in Utrecht During the Golden Age," September 13–November 30, 1997, no. 8.
Baltimore. Walters Art Gallery. "Masters of Light: Dutch Painters in Utrecht During the Golden Age," January 11–April 5, 1998, no. 8.
London. National Gallery. "Masters of Light: Dutch Painters in Utrecht During the Golden Age," May 6–August 2, 1998, no. 8.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 18, 2007–January 6, 2008, no catalogue.
Posthumous inventory of Johannes de Renialme. June 20–21, 1657, no. 137 [Gemeentearchief, Amsterdam, NAA 1915, filmnr. 2129, ff.663–685; published in A. Bredius, "Künstler-Inventare," The Hague, vol. 1, 1915, pp. 230, 237, where date of inventory is given as June 27; Getty no. N-2213], as "Een Christus aen 't cruys, van Van der Brugge," valued at 150 guilders, possibly this picture.
"£27,000 for a Corot: Sale Total £224,000 at Sotheby's." Times (November 29, 1956), p. 12, calls it "the most interesting item" in the sale, and "a new discovery"; relates it to Grünewald and Mantegna; states that Nigel Foxell bought it at a furniture shop for under £100.
"A Record Price at an Outstanding Picture Sale." Illustrated London News (December 8, 1956), p. 974, ill.
Weltkunst 36 (December 15, 1956), p. 19, ill.
Horst Gerson. Het Vaderland (February 16, 1957) [see Ref. Nicolson 1958], thinks that the Utrecht version [see Notes] is later than the MMA painting, but also by Ter Brugghen, and that the portraits may be after a lost Scorel.
James J. Rorimer and Dudley T. Easby Jr. "Review of the Year 1956–1957." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (October 1957), pp. 38, 40, ill. p. 43.
Horst Gerson. "Herwaardering van H. ter Bruggen." Het Vaderland (February 23, 1957), ill. [see Ref. Nicolson 1958].
Claus Virch. "The Crucifixion by Hendrick Terbrugghen." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (April 1958), pp. 217–26, ill. (detail, and in color on cover), dates it 1626 on the evidence of the partly legible inscription and on the basis of style; relates it to works by other artists.
Benedict Nicolson. Hendrick Terbrugghen. The Hague, 1958, pp. 6, 8, 22, 41, 45, 79–82, no. A49, pls. 53, 54, 55c, 56, 57 (overall and details), dates it about 1624–26, relating the head of Christ to that in the "Incredulity of Saint Thomas" (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam); believes it is probably the work included in the Renialme inventory of 1657 [see Ref.]; considers that the Utrecht variant was probably commissioned from an unknown artist by a member of the Ploos family sometime after 1630; believes that Grünewald was a major influence.
Benedict Nicolson. "De Heilige Hieronymus van Hendrick Terbrugghen." Bulletin Museum Boymans-van Beuningen 9, no. 3 (1958), pp. 88, 90, fig. 4 (detail), dates it about 1623–26.
S[amson]. Lane Faison Jr. A Guide to the Art Museums of New England. New York, 1958, p. 140.
Alfred Frankfurter. "Midas on Parnassus." Art News Annual 28 (1959), p. 62, ill. (color).
H[orst]. Gerson. "Review of Nicolson 1958." Kunstchronik 12 (November 1959), p. 317, dates it about 1625.
K. E. Maison. Art Themes and Variations. New York, 1960, p. 215, fig. 61, reproduces it alongside an engraving and a woodcut, both of the Crucifixion, by Dürer.
Benedict Nicolson. "Second Thoughts about Terbrugghen." Burlington Magazine 102 (November 1960), p. 470 n. 22.
J. Richard Judson. "Review of Nicolson 1958." Art Bulletin 43 (December 1961), p. 347, believes that it was made as an altarpiece, possibly as a replacement for an earlier work, and that it may have a source in German or Dutch fifteenth-century panel painting.
Wolfgang Stechow. "Terbrugghen in America." Art News 64 (October 1965), pp. 49–50, fig. 1 (color), suggests that the figure of Christ may have been inspired by "some piece of Gothic sculpture placed high above the worshipper".
Leonard J. Slatkes. Dirck van Baburen (c. 1595–1624): A Dutch Painter in Utrecht and Rome. Utrecht, 1965, pp. 52–53 n. 27, p. 91, suggests that the motif of Saint John's clasped hands is taken from Baburen's "Capture of Christ" (Galleria Borghese, Rome).
Leonard J. Slatkes inHendrick Terbrugghen in America. Exh. cat., Dayton Art Institute. Dayton, 1965, pp. 28–30, no. 9, ill.
Wolfgang Stechow inHendrick Terbrugghen in America. Exh. cat., Dayton Art Institute. Dayton, 1965, pp. 7–9.
Jakob Rosenberg and Seymour Slive inDutch Art and Architecture: 1600 to 1800. Baltimore, 1966, p. 24.
Arthur von Schneider. I seguaci del Caravaggio nei Paesi Bassi. Milan, 1966, unpaginated.
Connoisseur 172 (November 1969), p. CCXXX, ill. (color).
Edith A. Standen inMasterpieces of Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. New York, , p. 38, ill. (color).
P. J. J. van Thiel. "De aanbidding der koningen en ander vroeg werk van Hendrick ter Brugghen." Bulletin van het Rijksmuseum 19 (December 1971), p. 109.
J. M. Nash. The Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer. New York, 1972, unpaginated section, fig. 23.
Eduard Plietzsch. Holländische und flämische Maler des XVII. Jahrh. 2nd ed. Leipzig, 1972, pp. 143, 145.
Jakob Rosenberg and Seymour Slive inDutch Art and Architecture: 1600 to 1800. rev. ed. Harmondsworth, England, 1972, pp. 38–39.
Richard E. Spear. "Baroque Paintings from Ligozzi to Hogarth." Apollo 103 (February 1976), p. 106.
Benedict Nicolson. The International Caravaggesque Movement. Oxford, 1979, p. 98 [2nd ed., rev. and enl. by Luisa Vertova, "Caravaggism in Europe," Turin, 1989, vol. 1, p. 190].
Rüdiger Klessmann inJan Lievens: ein Maler im Schatten Rembrandts. Exh. cat., Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum. Braunschweig, 1979, p. 54, under no. 9, notes its influence on Jan Lievens.
Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, pp. 299, 308, fig. 537 (color).
Christopher Brown inGods, Saints & Heroes: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1980, pp. 104–5, no. 11, ill. [Dutch ed., "God en de Goden: Verhalen uit de bijbelse en klassieke oudheid door Rembrandt en zijn tijdgenoten," Amsterdam, 1981].
Albert Blankert inGods, Saints & Heroes: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1980, p. 15 [Dutch ed., "God en de Goden: Verhalen uit de bijbelse en klassieke oudheid door Rembrandt en zijn tijdgenoten," Amsterdam, 1981; reprinted in "Selected Writings. . . ," Zwolle, 2004, pp. 102–3, fig. 85 (color)].
Walther Bernt. Die Niederländischen Maler und Zeichner des 17. Jahrhunderts. Vol. 3, 4th, rev. ed. Munich, 1980, no. 1249, ill.
Erik de Jong [sic for E. de Jongh?]. Een schilderij centraal: De Slapende Mars van Hendrick ter Brugghen. Exh. cat., Centraal Museum. Utrecht, 1980, pp. 10, 31 n. 52, believes it is probably the work cited in the Renialme inventory of 1657 [see Ref.].
Michael Kitson. "'Gods, Saints and Heroes' at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam." Burlington Magazine 123 (July 1981), p. 444, fig. 70, comments that the artist "seems to draw on parts of the Italian tradition stretching back to Masaccio's Pisa Polyptych".
Peter Hecht. "Review of Exh. Washington et al. 1980–81." Simiolus 12, no. 2/3 (1981–82), p. 185.
Peter C. Sutton. A Guide to Dutch Art in America. Grand Rapids, Mich., 1986, p. 180, fig. 255.
Leonard J. Slatkes inNieuw Licht op de Gouden Eeuw: Hendrick ter Brugghen en tijdgenoten. Exh. cat., Centraal Museum. Utrecht, 1986, pp. 46, 50, 76, 103–4, 110, 129–30, 133–36, no. 21, ill. [German ed., "Holländische Malerei in neuem Licht: Hendrick ter Brugghen und seine Zeitgenossen," Braunschweig, (1986)].
Peter Hecht and Ger Luijten. "Nederland verzamelt oude meesters. Tien jaar aankopen en achtergronden." Kunstschrift/Openbaar Kunstbezit 6 (1986), p. 194, ill.
Albert Blankert inNieuw Licht op de Gouden Eeuw: Hendrick ter Brugghen en tijdgenoten. Exh. cat., Centraal Museum. Utrecht, 1986, p. 28 [German ed., "Holländische Malerei in neuem Licht: Hendrick ter Brugghen und seine Zeitgenossen," Braunschweig, (1986)].
Marten Jan Bok inNieuw Licht op de Gouden Eeuw: Hendrick ter Brugghen en tijdgenoten. Exh. cat., Centraal Museum. Utrecht, 1986, p. 71 [German ed., "Holländische Malerei in neuem Licht: Hendrick ter Brugghen und seine Zeitgenossen," Braunschweig, (1986)], lists the Ter Brugghen Crucifixion from the Renialme collection, possibly this picture.
Michael Kitson. "Brunswick, Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum, Hendrick ter Brugghen and his Contemporaries." Burlington Magazine 129 (February 1987), p. 137.
"Torino: Un Ter Bruggen romano." Giornale dell'arte no. 50 (November 1987), p. 61, discusses another version of this work in a Turin collection.
J. A. L. de Meyere. "Hendrick ter Brugghen en tijdgenoten (I): Nieuw Licht op de Gouden Eeuw." Antiek 6 (January 1987), p. 350, fig. 16.
Bernhard Schnackenburg. "Höllandische Malerei in neuem Licht: Hendrick ter Brugghen und seine Zeitgenossen." Kunstchronik 40 (April 1987), p. 172.
Maestri fiamminghi ed olandesi del XVI e XVII secolo. Exh. cat., Caretto Gallerie. Turin, 1987, p. 42, ill. on foldout, mistakenly states that it is dated 1620; attributes the Turin version to Ter Brugghen and dates it about 1612–13.
Volker Bauermeister. "Review of Exh. Braunschweig 1987." Das Kunstwerk 40 (June 1987), p. 72.
Wouter Th. Kloek. "The Caravaggisti and the Netherlandish Tradition." Hendrick ter Brugghen und die Nachfolger Caravaggios in Holland. Ed. Rüdiger Klessmann. Braunschweig, 1988, p. 51, compares it with Dutch altarpiece of about 1400 from the church of Saint Walburgis, Zutphen (Rijksmuseum Het Catharijneconvent, Utrecht, on loan to Henriëtte Polak Museum, Zutphen).
Christopher Brown. "The London 'Jacob and Laban' and ter Brugghen's Italian Sources." Hendrick ter Brugghen und die Nachfolger Caravaggios in Holland. Ed. Rüdiger Klessmann. Braunschweig, 1988, pp. 93, 97 nn. 19, 23, fig. 124.
Jan Bialostocki. "Der schwarze und der farbige Raum: Caravaggio und die Niederländer." Hendrick ter Brugghen und die Nachfolger Caravaggios in Holland. Ed. Rüdiger Klessmann. Braunschweig, 1988, p. 11.
Christopher Wright. Dutch Paintings in the Seventeenth Century: Images of a Golden Age in British Collections. Exh. cat., Birmingham City Museums and Art Gallery. London, 1989, p. 47.
Walter Liedtke. "Dutch Paintings in America: The Collectors and Their Ideals." Great Dutch Paintings from America. Exh. cat., Mauritshuis, The Hague. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1990, p. 55.
Albert Blankert. A Newly Discovered Painting by Hendrick ter Brugghen. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1991, pp. 15, 20, 24, 39 n. 6, p. 40 n. 18, figs. 5, 10 (overall and detail).
R[obert]. Schillemans. "Schilderijen in Noordnederlandse katholieke kerken uit de eerste helft van de 17e eeuw." De zeventiende eeuw 8, no. 1 (1992), p. 42.
Maria Giulia Aurigemma. "Gherardo, Enrico, Teodoro ed altri simili." L'asino iconoclasta: Seicento olandese, Proposte di lettura, problemi di metodo e di interpretazione. Ed. Maria Giulia Aurigemma and Giovanna Capitelli. Sant'Oreste (Rome), 1993, pp. 50–52, fig. 8.
Robert Schillemans. "Over Hendrick ter Brugghen's 'Kruisigingen' en de aanspraak van Adriaen Ploos op een adellijke afkomst." De zeventiende eeuw 9, no. 2 (1993), pp. 137–51, fig. 1, discusses the different versions of the composition, calling the Utrecht picture a faithful copy after an earlier work, the MMA picture by Ter Brugghen, the Turin picture attributed to Ter Brugghen, and another version in the St. Clemenskerk, Nes, a copy after the MMA work from the workshop of Ter Brugghen.
Seymour Slive. Dutch Painting 1600–1800. New Haven, 1995, p. 20.
Albert Blankert in"Fiamenghi che vanno e vengono non li si puol dar regola", Paesi Bassi e Italia fra Cinquecento e Seicento: pittura, storia e cultura degli emblemi. Sant'Oreste (Rome), 1995, p. 134, fig. 27.
Leonard J. Slatkes. "Bringing Ter Brugghen and Barburen [sic] up-to-date." Bulletin du Musée National de Varsovie 37, no. 3–4 (1996), pp. 217–18.
A[lbert]. Blankert inAllgemeines Künstlerlexikon: die bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Völker. Vol. 14, Munich, 1996, pp. 504–5.
Marten Jan Bok. "Laying Claims to Nobility in the Dutch Republic: Epitaphs, True and False." Simiolus 24, no. 2/3 (1996), pp. 210, 212, fig. 4.
Leonard J. Slatkes inMasters of Light: Dutch Painters in Utrecht During the Golden Age. Exh. cat., Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Baltimore, 1997, pp. 151–55, 411, no. 8, ill. (color).
Joaneath A. Spicer inMasters of Light: Dutch Painters in Utrecht During the Golden Age. Exh. cat., Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Baltimore, 1997, pp. 20, 394 n. 20.
Christopher Brown. Utrecht Painters of the Dutch Golden Age. Exh. cat., Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. London, 1997, p. 33.
Ben Olde Meierink and Angelique Bakker inMasters of Light: Dutch Painters in Utrecht During the Golden Age. Exh. cat., Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Baltimore, 1997, p. 79.
Ghislain Kieft inLa pittura nei Paesi Bassi. Ed. Bert W. Meijer. Milan, 1997, vol. 2, p. 410, fig. 379 (color).
Dennis P. Weller. Sinners & Saints, Darkness and Light: Caravaggio and His Dutch and Flemish Followers. Exh. cat., North Carolina Museum of Art. Raleigh, 1998, p. 213, no. 3, ill.
Arthur K. Wheelock Jr. "Utrecht painters in Baltimore." Apollo 142 (April 1998), p. 52.
Liesbeth M. Helmus Centraal Museum. Schilderkunst tot 1850. Utrecht, 1999, vol. 2, p. 769.
Joël Cornette in Joël Cornette and Alain Mérot. Histoire artistique de l'Europe. Vol. , Le XVIIe siècle. Paris, 1999, p. 51, ill. p. 50 (color).
Jean-Pierre Cuzin in Joël Cornette and Alain Mérot. Histoire artistique de l'Europe. Vol. , Le XVIIe siècle. Paris, 1999, p. 227.
Larry Silver. "'Caravaggism's Missing Link, or what ter Brugghen brought home from Rome'." Pantheon 58 (2000), p. 191.
Richard Beresford and Peter Raissis. The James Fairfax Collection of Old Master Paintings, Drawings, and Prints. Exh. cat., Art Gallery of New South Wales. Sydney, 2003, p. 42.
Liesbeth M. Helmus inCaravaggio e l'Europa: Il movimento caravaggesco internazionale da Caravaggio a Mattia Preti. Exh. cat., Palazzo Reale. Milan, 2005, p. 97 n. 52.
Stichting Victor IV: "The Crucifixion with Members of the Family of Adriaen Willemsz. Ploos" after Hendrick ter Brugghen, 1624? Exh. cat., Centraal Museum. Utrecht, 2005, unpaginated [see Ref. Slatkes and Franits 2007].
Pierre Rosenberg. Only in America: One Hundred Paintings in American Museums Unmatched in European Collections. Milan, 2006, pp. 15, 82, ill.
Natasha Therese Seaman. "Archaism and the Critique of Caravaggio in the Religious Paintings of Hendrick ter Brugghen." PhD diss., Boston University, 2006, vol. 1, pp. vi, 6–9, 15, 26, 62, 64, 116, 124, 129, 132–58, 165–66, 171–72, 184, 213; vol. 2, fig. 9, assumes that it is the version owned by Renialme; discusses the depiction of blood.
Esmée Quodbach. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 65 (Summer 2007), pp. 50, 52–53, 61, fig. 60 (color).
Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, pp. x–xi, 109–18, no. 25, colorpl. 25, fig. 22 (color detail); vol. 2, p. 893, dates it about 1624–25; believes it is "possible, but improbable" that the picture was owned by Renialme.
Helmut Nickel. "The Sun, the Moon, and an Eclipse: Observations on 'The Crucifixion with the Virgin and Saint John,' by Hendrick Ter Brugghen." Metropolitan Museum Journal 42 (2007), pp. 121–24, fig. 1, colorpl. 4, finds the brown sky with its pin-prick stars very close to that of a total solar eclipse; notes that there was a total eclipse in Rome in the early afternoon of October 12, 1605, that Ter Brugghen must have witnessed, and an annular eclipse in the Netherlands on May 21, 1621, "which would surely have reinforced the artist's memory of his Roman experience"; observes that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke each describe a three-hour period of darkness starting at noon, while Christ was on the cross.
Nigel Foxell. "The £75 Masterpiece." Art News 106 (October 2007), p. 204, discusses his purchase of the picture.
Walter Liedtke. "Resurrection of a Crucifixion." Art News 106 (October 2007), pp. 202–5, ill. (color).
Leonard J. Slatkes and Wayne Franits. The Paintings of Hendrick ter Brugghen, 1588–1619: Catalogue Raisonné. Amsterdam, 2007, pp. 31, 38 n. 28, 40–43, 65, 71, 103–10 n. 26, pp. 111–12, 114, 127, 134–35, 167, 193, 222, 241, 246, 268, 280, no. A19, pl. 18, call it "likely, but by no means certain" that it is the work owned by Renialme.
Jean-Pierre Cuzin. Figures de la réalité: Caravagesques français, Georges de La Tour, les frères Le Nain . . . [Paris], 2010, p. 52, reprints Ref. Cuzin 1999.
Additional versions of the composition include works in the Centraal Museum, Utrecht; the Caretto Gallerie, Turin; and the St. Clemenskerk, Nes [see Ref. Schillemans 1993].