Enjoy a safe visit to Compton Verney. Please wear a mask indoors, unless exempt, and respect other visitors on your day out with us.

Unknown

Vesperbild or Pietà

Details

Artist

Unknown

Title

Vesperbild or Pietà

Date

1410-20

Medium

Chalk stone

Dimensions

H: 65.5 cm

Reference

CVCSC:0325.N

Collection

Northern European

Status

On Display

This sculpture is one of the earliest objects in this part of the collection. It demonstrates a new way of representing the suffering Christ, who has just been taken down from the cross. Although Christ’s blood and pain is apparent, previous depictions of the subject tended to communicate overt suffering, whereas in this example the figures have elegant, elongated limbs which suggest a courtly beauty rather than a realistic portrayal of death. It is an example of the ‘horizontal pietà’ type, in which Christ’s body lies across his mother’s knees. As well as being a devotional image, this piece would have been understood as a crucifixion scene, indicated by the drops of blood on Mary’s veil, as if falling from the cross above.

Vesperbild or Pietà 1410-20 © Compton Verney, photo by Jamie Woodley

Vesperbild or Pietà 1410-20 © Compton Verney, photo by Jamie Woodley

Vesperbild or Pietà 1410-20 © Compton Verney, photo by Jamie Woodley

Vesperbild or Pietà 1410-20 © Compton Verney, photo by Jamie Woodley