Arnulf Rainer
Wine Crucifix 1957–78

Artwork details

Arnulf Rainer born 1929
Wine Crucifix
Date 1957–78
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 1680 x 1030 mm
frame: 1685 x 1035 x 40 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1983
Not on display

Display caption

Wine-Crucifix was originally painted as an altar-piece for the Student Chapel of the Catholic University in Graz, Austria. It hung loosely, without a frame, across a large window. Light shining through the cloth would reveal the shape of a cross beneath layers of paint. The title of the work evokes the transformation of wine into the blood of Christ. After the work was removed from its religious setting in the mid-1960s, the artist bought it back and in 1978 decided to rework it. ‘I realised that the quality and truth of the picture only grew as it became darker and darker’, Rainer has explained.

July 2008

About this artwork