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The Disrobing of Christ

The Disrobing of Christ

c. 1785-1790

Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo

(Italian, 1727-1804)

Pen and brown and black ink, brush and black, brown, and red-brown wash, over black chalk, framing lines in brown ink

Support: Cream(1) laid paper

Sheet: 47.9 x 38.2 cm (18 7/8 x 15 1/16 in.); Image: 46.1 x 36.2 cm (18 1/8 x 14 1/4 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1999.5


Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, an important Venetian fresco painter of the 18th century, is best known today for his highly finished historical drawings that ingeniously incorporate details from daily life. This drawing, from a suite of more than 260 sheets known as the Large Biblical Series, depicts the Disrobing of Christ (the tenth Station of the Cross). The moment of the Crucifixion is close at hand as a Roman solider waits by the cross, hammer at the ready. By juxtaposing the figure of Christ, bathed in celestial light, with that of the executioner kneeling before his victim, Tiepolo introduced an element of tragic irony while emphasizing the impact of Christ's presence and the religious significance of his death.

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