Art print by Zunuzin

Disrobing of Christ (El Greco Improvisation)

Original painting artwork description:
Year created: 2003
The original artwork is oil painting on canvas, size 31.5x61.4 in (80x156 cm), and is available for sale. Buy original on Singulart

Print information

Shipment and payment


History of the Disrobing of Christ by El Greco

El Greco - Disrobing of Christ

El Greco
"Disrobing of Christ", 1577-1579
Toledo Cathedral, Toledo, Spain

Commenced in the summer of 1577, and completed in the spring of 1579, for the High Altar of the Sacristy of the Cathedral, where it still hangs. A document of 2nd July 1577 referring to this painting is the earliest record of El Greco in Spain. El Greco has produced one of the most dignified and moving portrayals of Christ in art. The powerful effect of the painting especially depends upon his original and forceful use of colour. Something of the effect of the grand images of the Saviour in Byzantine art is recalled. The motif of the crowding round Christ suggests an acquaintance with the works of the Northern artist, Bosch; the figure preparing the Cross could be derived from the similar figure bending forward in Raphael's tapestry cartoon of the Miraculous Draught of Fishes. This is, however, the last time that there are any hints of specific borrowings.

The painting shows Christ clad in a bright red robe and looking up to Heaven with an expression of serenity as he is being tormented by his captors. A figure in the background bearing a red hat points at Christ accusingly, while two others argue over his garments. A man in green to Christ's left holds him firmly with a rope and is about to rip off his robe in preparation for his crucifixion. At the lower right, a man in yellow bends over the cross and drills a hole to facilitate the insertion of a nail to be driven through Christ's feet.

The clouds above Christ, painted in strong diagonals, provide a 'path' of uplifting communication between Christ and God the Father. On the left side of the composition, the three Marys contemplate the event with distress. Above them a soldier wearing a suit of armour reminiscent of those fabricated in sixteenth-century Toledo stares out directly at the viewer. El Greco may have intended this figure to be a contemporary portrait. Via

Bestseller art poster

22.8x48 in (58x122 cm), archival pigment print on canvas, signed by author, limited edition of 100