The Crucifixion

Artist: Gerard David (Netherlandish, Oudewater ca. 1455–1523 Bruges)

Date: ca. 1495

Medium: Oil on wood

Dimensions: Overall 21 x 15 in. (53.3 x 38.1 cm); painted surface 20 5/8 x 14 3/4 in. (52.5 x 37.5 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1909

Accession Number: 09.157


In this poignant image, the Crucifixion is presented as an enactment of the written word due to the inclusion of Saint Jerome. The Church Father is shown as somewhat detached from the event at hand, but reading about it from his translation of the Bible. True to the account of the Gospels, David has provided an appropriate sense of time and space. The sky is darkened at the moment of Christ's death on Golgotha (literally, "the place of the skull"), and the holy city of Jerusalem with its prominent Church of the Dome of the Rock forms the backdrop.