The Crucifixion, ca. 1835
Francis Danby ARA (1793 - 1861)
RA Collection: Art
This minutely finished and intense watercolour depicts the moment of Christ's death when 'the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many', as described in St Matthew's Gospel (27: 51-53).
The work was engraved on steel by William Greatbach for The Book of Gems: The Poets and Artists of Great Britain, a giftbook annual edited by S. C. Hall and published in 1837.
The watercolour was in the collection of Carel Weight RA who bequeathed it to the Royal Academy. It was displayed along with a selection of works from Weight's collection at the Royal Academy in 2001. The accompanying text observed:
'Although not a religious artist in the mould of Stanley Spencer, Weight responded to the thematic and dramatic possibilities of religious subjects. The Bequest includes the minutely detailed "Crucifixion" (c. 1835) by Francis Danby ARA (1793-1861), an artist who created primarily apocalyptic scenes. Weight painted the Crucifixion himself on several occasions.'
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