The Descent from the Cross (1612-1614), Peter Paul Rubens


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Peter Paul Rubens's "The Descent from the Cross" (1612-1614) is a monumental Baroque masterpiece that depicts the removal of Christ from the cross, a pivotal moment in the Christian narrative. The painting, currently displayed in the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, Belgium, showcases Rubens's mastery of composition, dynamism, and emotional expression.

At the center of the composition lies the lifeless body of Christ, his pale skin contrasting against the vibrant hues of the surrounding figures. His body is gently lowered from the cross by a group of muscular men, their faces etched with grief and determination. The Virgin Mary, cradled in the arms of St. John the Evangelist, extends her arms towards her son, her expression a poignant mix of sorrow and acceptance.

Rubens's dynamic brushwork and use of chiaroscuro create a sense of movement and tension within the scene. The figures appear to be heaving and struggling under the weight of Christ's body, their contorted poses and furrowed brows conveying the physical and emotional strain of the task. The interplay of light and shadow further dramatizes the scene, highlighting the figures and creating a sense of depth and dimension.

The background of the painting depicts a tumultuous landscape, with dark clouds swirling overhead and a rocky terrain stretching towards the horizon. This setting mirrors the emotional turmoil of the scene, suggesting the chaos and despair that surround Christ's death.

Rubens's masterful use of color further enhances the emotional impact of the painting. The warm, earthy tones of the figures' robes contrast with the cool blues and greens of the sky and landscape, creating a visually striking and harmonious composition. The use of bright red accents, particularly in the garments of Mary Magdalene and St. John the Evangelist, draws attention to these key figures and emphasizes their role in the scene.

"The Descent from the Cross" is a powerful and moving depiction of a pivotal moment in Christian history. Rubens's masterful use of composition, dynamism, and emotional expression creates a visually arresting and emotionally resonant image that has captivated viewers for centuries.

Available as a fine art print and as a stretched canvas panel (heavy fine art canvas stretched over 1.5 inch deep edge solid wood frame)

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print material options


All prints are made using archival art stocks and UV pigment inks to give up to 200 years life. Prints are sold unframed and unmounted.


All orders for unframed fine art prints and original paintings are dispatched within 2 working days of receipt of payment.

Orders for custom framed prints are dispatched within 4 working days.

All orders are fully tracked from dispatch to delivery at your home or business.

All print and original painting orders are fully insured against loss or damage in transit. We refund or replace any damaged or lost orders.

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Size and Printed Materials

Fine art papers are printed without any additional white border Please let us know at the time of ordering if you would like a small additional white border.

Rolled canvas options have an additional white border of approximately 2.5 inches (7cm) on all 4 sides to aid stretching.

Ready to hang canvas panels are stretched on 1.5 inch deep solid pine frames from sustainable forestry sources. The image is mirrored on all 4 sides to give an aesthetically pleasing finish.

Gift Wrap Option

Why not have us gift wrap your order and attach a personalised message to the recipient. Available for all orders. Each order is hand wrapped in high quality gift wrap with meatllic ribbon and bow. Your personalised message is printed on a card which is included with your order.

Have your hand wrapped gift delivered directly to the recipient.

Full tracking and insurance included with every order.

Please note design may vary depending upon availability

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Framing Options - Instructions

We have a wide range of frames in standard sizes and we also make custom size frames.

To order a framed print:

1. select the print size you would like along with the print materials (matte paper, fine art paper).

2. Add your print choice to the basket.

3. Choose from our range of frames

4. Select the same size as the print you have added to your basket. If the frame size you want is not listed please contact us

5. Choose from the mount or no-mount option

6. Add your frame choice to the basket

7. Proceed to checkout.

Why Choose GalleryThane?

  • Printed and framed in-house
  • Free UK delivery
  • Free EU and USA delivery on orders over £200
  • Tracking and insurance included in every order
  • Fast 1-3 day dispatch
  • Gift wrapping service available
  • Gallery quality materials
  • Sustainable, eco-friendly packaging
  • Great customer support
Popular Frames - All Sizes Available (Square, Landscape, Portrait, Panoramic)

What makes our Prints and Canvas Panels so special

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Latest Giclee Printing Technology

We have invested in the latest wide format print technology to produce museum quality giclee prints utilising the highest quality pigment inks to give outstanding colour reproduction.

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Museum Quality Archival Fine Art Papers

We print on the finest quality fine art papers with textured, smooth and lustre finishes for prints which last a lifetime.

From aceo miniatures to 40x80 inch large format, every print has our lifetime quality guaranteee.

cotton canvas stretched over solid wood frame

Solid Wood Frames, Cotton Canvas

All of the wood for our canvas panels and frames is responsibly sourced from manages forests. Our cotton canvas is completely seedless for the highest quality reproduction possible.

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