The Dead Christ and the Virgin

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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The Virgin, face partly obscured by her vast blue cloak, places a hand on her son’s bloody wound. He is shown upright, after his crucifixion. The image of Christ displaying his wounds after death was popular in the late Middle Ages as a focus for meditation upon his suffering. The spear used to pierce his side is painted on the back of the panel, along with other tools of the Crucifixion, including a hammer and nails. The panel was originally the left half of a pair of images hinged together, or possibly part of a triptych (an object made up of three panels). The other part shows Saint John the Evangelist and Mary Magdalene looking towards Christ in grief (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). The artist probably belonged to one of the Florentine painter Giotto’s workshops in Naples.

The National Gallery, London



The Dead Christ and the Virgin




Egg tempera on wood


H 60 x W 42.3 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Presented by Henry Wagner, 1924

Work type



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The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

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