The Deposition (centre); Adam and Eve Mourning Abel (left); Joseph’s Coat Shown to Jacob and Rachel (right)
Brussels, about 1450
Oil on wood
Centre panel 53.3 x 42.8 cm; wings 52.5 x 16.7 cm
In the centre, Christ is taken down from the cross by Joseph of Arimathea and others, while his mother, the Virgin, to the left, swoons in grief. The outer panels show Old Testament scenes which prefigure the death of Christ. To the left, the pain of Adam and Eve at the death of their son Abel mirrors the suffering of the Virgin. To the right, Jacob and Rachel are convinced that their son Joseph has died. Saint Helena, (left) and Saint Veronica (right) are shown on the backs of the outer panels.
The unknown artist reuses poses and figures developed by Rogier van der Weyden, the leading Netherlandish painter of the time.
Purchased 1960 (No.60.4)