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Record Image
Leyden, Lucas van (Dutch, b.1494, d.1533)
The Crucifixion
284 x 415 mm
Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Purchased 1967 with funds from the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Society.
Lucas van Leyden, an artist often referred to as the ‘Netherlandish Dürer’, was the most significant printmaker in the Netherlands in the first half of the 16th century, at the time of the Renaissance in Northern Europe. He was renowned for his delicate, meticulously detailed engravings, and during his relatively short career also produced woodcuts and experimented with etching. Only a handful of paintings are attributed to him and surviving drawings by the artist are extremely rare.
His prints reveal an independent and original vision. In his many religious prints he depicted unconventional subjects or treated traditional themes in a novel way. In this print a plethora of characters, seemingly transplanted directly from a contemporary street scene, occupy three-quarters of the composition. Shambling, reclining, posturing and posing, most in the crowd appear to have little interest in the tragic and gruesome spectacle of the Crucifixion, which unfolds before them.
Images of everyday life also occur throughout van Leyden’s oeuvre and are the forerunners to the Dutch genre tradition that developed more fully in the 17th century.

not on view

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