The tragic climax to the Gospel stories, the Crucifixion of Christ is the pivotal event of Christianity. In theological terms, it is God's sacrifice of Himself to redeem mankind; in human terms, it is the ultimate tragedy and a strikingly evocative symbol of suffering and human sacrifice. As Christianity's supreme image, the Crucifixion has been endlessly represented by artists throughout the centuries.
This volume presents a chronological sequence of over 100 of the finest Crucifixion images produced by a selection of the greatest artists in the Christian tradition, ranging from the earliest catacomb art to the late twentieth century. The subject is always the same, the means of representing it always different in mood and medium, style and scale.
Perusing this powerful volume, the reader is taken on a prolonged meditation, focusing on the universal themes of suffering, sacrifice and redemption, and reflecting on the breathtaking power of art to transcend its grim subject matter and to create out of it works of compelling beauty. Sparing in words, stark and simple in presentation, this book is all the more eloquent: a dynamically moving and inspiring commentary on divine and human loss and gain, and on the mysterious power of art to capture and express religious feeling through the extremes of human emotion.
Like its companion volumes Annunciation, Descent and Last Supper, Crucifixion presents a focused meditation on a single theme that is infinitely rich, allowing the viewer to appreciate the nuances of character and the endless skill with which artists have created new masterpieces out of old materials. Whether one focuses on the religious mystery, the human drama or the marvellous skill of the artist, these uncluttered and simply presented works of art provide endless food for thought and contemplation.