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This is one of a series made by Sutherland in preparation for a larger version commissioned for a church in Northampton. The sources on which he drew indicate the way he saw the theme in terms of past paintings, the individual and recent historical events. His primary reference point was Matthias Grunewald’s famous Issenhiem altarpiece (illustrated to the left), in which Christ is shown anguished and blistered; Sutherland drew himself slung from the ceiling. He also referred to recently released photographs of dead and starving Concentration Camp victims.

September 2004