Descent from the Cross

Artist: Follower of Jean Goujon (French, ca. 1510–ca. 1565 Bologna (?))

Artist: After a composition by Marcantonio Raimondi (Italian, Argini (?) ca. 1480–before 1534 Bologna (?))

Date: ca. 1555

Culture: French, Paris

Medium: Marble with traces of gilding

Dimensions: 43 1/4 x 24 1/2 in. (109.9 x 62.2 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1929

Accession Number: 29.56


Against a distant view of Jerusalem, Christ’s body is lowered into the arms of Saint John the Evangelist under the anguished gaze of Mary Magdalen, who kneels at the foot of the cross. On the left, one of the other Maries supports the swooning Virgin. Although the composition was based on an engraving by the Bolognese printmaker Marcantonio Raimondi (ca. 1480–before 1534), the figures’ thin draperies, elongated silhouettes, and Grecian profiles reflect the influence of the court artist Jean Goujon.