Art Collections Online

The Disrobing of Christ

GRECO, Domenico Theotokopuli; El (1541 - 1614)

The Disrobing of Christ

Media: oil on canvas

Size: 130.0 x 163.0 cm

Acquired: 1952; Bequest; Gwendoline Davies

Accession Number: NMW A 5

Collection: The Davies Sisters Collection

This painting shows the dramatic moment when soldiers strip Christ of his clothes ready for the Crucifixion. Unusually, the incident is depicted at night, lit by a torch, with divine illumination descending from Heaven to Christ's head through a triangular gap in the clouds. The artist’s real name was Domenikos Theotokopoulus.  Born in Crete, he later moved to Spain, where he was called El Greco - the Greek.  The brushwork and elongated figures here are typical of the Mannerist style, where figures are distorted for dramatic effect.  Many variations of this composition exist. The primary version of The Disrobing of Christ is a full-length painting in Toledo Cathedral, dated 1577-79.  


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