The Deposition of Christ, ca. 1470

  • Carlo Crivelli, Italian, active 1457-ca. 1493

Tempera and gold on wood panel

  • Unframed (Lunette panel (semi-circular)): 16 1/2 × 45 inches (41.9 × 114.3 cm) Framed (irreg.): 25 7/8 × 54 5/8 × 3 9/16 inches (65.7 × 138.7 × 9.1 cm)

Founders Society Purchase, General Membership Fund


On View

  • European: Medieval and Renaissance W234


European Painting

  • Grief
  • Mourning
  • Religious art
  • Christianity
  • Mourners
  • Men
  • Women
  • Religion
  • Panel (wood)
  • Tempera
  • Gold
  • Painting (visual work)
  • Panel painting (painting by form)
  • Venice
  • Christ

Once part of a multipaneled altarpiece painted for the church of Porto San Giorgio (on the Adriatic coast of Italy), this painting depicts Christ's mother and followers attending to his corpse. The gestures of the Virgin and Mary Magdalen draw attention to the wounds of Christ, suggesting that the panel was a devotional image meant to inspire the sympathy of worshipers. The grieving figures of Saint John the Evangelist (on Christ's left), Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus provide examples for the spectator to follow. The intensely expressive figures, emphasized by detailed draftsmanship, are hallmarks of Crivelli's style.

probably commissioned by Giorgio da Prenta Albanese [of the Salvadori family]

1470-1803, Church of Porto San Giorgio (Porto San Giorgo, Fermo, Italy)

1803, possibly moved to Chiesa del Suffragio, where it had two temporary residences

by 1834, Salvadori family

1834, sold by Luigi Salvadori (Rome, Italy)

1834, purchased by Hudson [associated with the Portuguese embassy] (possibly Rome, Italy)

by 1854, Alexander Barker (possibly London, England)

by 1871, until 1892 [or from 1854 until 1876], 1st Earl of Dudley

June 25, 1892, sold by (Christie's, London, England) auction Earl of Dudley, lot 59

1892, purchased by (Agnew, London, England)

until ca. 1920, Thomas Brockleband (Wateringbury Place, Kent, England)

1925 (Duveen, New York, New York, USA and London, England)

1925-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Maggiori, A. Dall'itinerario d'Italia e sue più nobili curiosità d'ogni specie, vol. 1. Ancona, 1832, p. 219. Ricci, A. Memorie storiche delle arti e degli artisti della Marca di Ancona, vol. 1. Marcerata, 1834, pp. 209, 227. Waagen, G. Treasures of Art in Great Britain, vol. 2. London, 1854, p. 127. Crowe, J. and G.B. Cavalcaselle. A History of Painting in North Italy, vol. I. London, 1871, p. 91, footnote 4. Exh. cat., Royal Academy. London, 1871, no. 314. Early Venetian Pictures. Exh. cat., Burlington Fine Arts Club. London, 1912, no. 10. Crowe, J.B. and G. Cavalcaselle. A History of Painting in North Italy, 2nd ed., vol. 1. T. Borenius, ed. London, 1912, p. 91 note. Fry, R. "Exhibition of Pictures of the Early Venetian School at the Burlington Fine Arts Club -- II." Burlington Magazine XXI (1912): pp. 47-48, p. 48, pl. I. Borenius, T. "La mostra di dipinti veneziana primitivi al 'Burlington Fine Arts Club.'" Rassegna d'Arte 12, no. 6 (June 1912): pp. 88-92, p. 88. [ca. 1473.] Venturi, A. Storia dell'arte italiana 7, pt. 3. Milan, 1914. p. 392 (fig. 299). [dated before 1480.] Testi, L. Storia della pittura veneziana 2. Bergamo, 1915, pp. 567 note 3, 637-638, 678-679. Valentiner, W.R. "A Pietà by Carlo Crivelli" Bulletin of the DIA 6, no. 8, pp. 87-89, p. 87 (ill.). Drey, F. Carlo Crivelli und seine Schule. Munich, 1927, pp. 53, pl. XIII. Borenius, T. "Pictures from American Collections at Burlington House." Apollo 11 (March 1930): pp. 153-162, p. 162 (fig. XI). Exhibition of Italian Art. Exh. cat., Burlington House. London, 1930, no. 194. Heil, W. Catalogue of Paintings in the Permanent Collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1930, cat. 44 (ill.). Berenson, B. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 161. [as Pietà.] Ricci, A. Memorie storiche delle arti i degli artisti della Marca di Ancona, vol. 1. 1934, p. 209. Berenson, B. Pitture italiane del rinascimento. Milan, 1936, p. 139. Van Marle, R. The Development of the Italian Schools of Paintings, Vol. XVIII. The Renaissance Painters of Venice. The Hague, 1936, p. 15 (fig. 8). Richardson, E.P., ed. Detroit Institute of Arts Catalogue of Paintings, 2nd ed. Detroit, 1944, p. 33, no. 44. [dated ca. 1430.] Longhi, R. Viatico per cinque secoli di pittura veneziana. Florence, 1946, p. 57 note (fig. 53). Detroit Institute of Arts Masterpieces of Painting and Sculpture. Detroit, 1949, p. 53, (ill.). Davies, M. The Earlier Italian Schools. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 1951, p. 131. Zampetti, P. Carlo Crivelli nelle Marche. Urbino, 1952, p. 67. Bialstocki, J. "A lunette above Crivelli's St. George." Burlington Magazine 98 (1956): pp. 370-373, p. 370. Berenson, B. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Venetian School, vol. I. London, 1957, p. 69. Pallucchini, R. La pittura veneta del Quattrocento, vol. 2. Padua, 1957-1958, pp. 14-15, 17, 36. Crivelli e i Crivelleschi. Exh. cat., Palazzo Ducale. Venice, 1961, p. 32, cat. 7 (ill.). Zampetti, P. Carlo Crivelli. Milan, 1961, pp. 15, 74 (fig. 16). Paintings in the DIA: A Checklist of the Paintings Acquired Before June 1965. Detroit, 1965, p. 30. Richardson, E.P., ed. Treasures from the Detroit Institute of Arts, 3rd ed. Detroit, 1966, p. 80, (ill.). Shapely, F.R. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: Italian Schools, vol. 2 (XV-XVI century). London, 1968, pp. 34-35. Zampetti, P. La pittura Marchigiana da Gentile a Raffaello. Milan, 1969, p. 180. Cummings, F and C. Elam, eds. Detroit Institute of Arts Illustrated Handbook. Detroit, 1971, p. 83 (ill.) Fredericksen and Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, MA, 1972, p. 60. [as Entombment]. Bovero, A. L'opera completa del Crivelli. Milan, 1974, p. 87, cat. 24. Fahy, E. "Italian Paintings at Fenway Court and Elsewhere." Connoisseur 198, no. 795 (May 1978): pp. 34-35. Cummings, F., ed. Selected Works from the Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1979, p. 134, cat. 107 (ill.). Zampetti, Pietro. Carlo Crivelli, Florence, 1986, pp. 72-3, 256, pl. 9. [as ca. 1470.] Henshaw, J., ed. A Visitor's Guide: The Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1996, p. 177 (ill.). Lightbown, R. Carlo Crivelli. New Haven and London, 2004, pp.109, 123-4, (ill.) (fig. 29). Secrest, Meryle. Duveen: a life in art. New York, 2004, p. 424.

Carlo Crivelli, The Deposition of Christ, ca. 1470, tempera and gold on wood panel. Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase, General Membership Fund, 25.35.