Leon KossoffFrom Rembrandt: The Lamentation over the Dead Christ 1990-9

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Artwork details

Leon Kossoff (born 1926)
From Rembrandt: The Lamentation over the Dead Christ
Date 1990-9
MediumEtching on paper
Dimensions480 x 443 mm
Acquisition Presented by the artist 2007
Not on display


This print

is one of many works executed by the London-based artist Leon Kossoff in response to Old Master paintings

. The work of Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–69) has a long-standing appeal to Kossoff, whose output includes numerous drawings and prints derived from close study of Rembrandt’s paintings in the National Gallery, London. Kossoff etched these works in front of the paintings in question and a quality of spontaneity is characteristic of the finished prints. In this case, his inspiration is a small, monochrome oil sketch on paper of The Lamentation over the Dead Christ, painted by Rembrandt in about 1635, probably as a study for an unexecuted etching. Kossoff’s composition follows the Dutch Master’s image closely, though it is inevitably reversed through the print-making process. The lifeless body of the crucified Christ lies in the foreground, cradled and surrounded by his grieving followers. His empty cross dominates the right of the composition (the left in Rembrandt’s original). On either side of this cross, in the extreme foreground and in the background, are the two crosses of the thieves crucified with Christ, with their limp bodies still hanging on them… (read more)

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