Paintings of the CrucifixionArts, Blog, Visual Arts — By Stephanie Nikolopoulos on April 22, 2011 at 10:35 am
A couple years ago there was an exhibit called Spanish Painting from El Greco to Picasso: Time, Truth, and History at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. The exhibit paired old masters with modern painters, according to theme: knights, ghosts, ladies, bodegones, landscapes of fire, and so forth. It was an impressive collection of artwork that spoke to how Truth transcends time.
Frank Lloyd Wright designed the museum in such a way that museum-goers wind their way up through exhibits as opposed to being sectioned off, floor by floor, and consequently there are heightened feelings of momentum and progress as one climbs closer to the top of the museum. At the pinnacle of the museum during the Spanish Painting exhibit there was a section devoted entirely to paintings of the Crucifixion.
It is probably the most intense and haunting collection of artwork I have ever witnessed. I have seen many paintings of the Crucifixion over the years, but standing in an entire room of them is overwhelming. I felt uncomfortable. I felt sick. I left trying to push it out of my mind.
Four years after seeing the collection of Crucifixions at the Guggenheim, I still remember the horror that grew in me. I love the beauty and joy of Palm Sunday and the fulfillment and hope that comes with Easter Sunday, but Good Friday makes me uneasy. I prefer not to think about it too much. For this reason I never watched The Passion of the Christ.
Art is a powerful medium. It can leave lasting impressions on our hearts and minds. It can help us better understand Truth.
Truth isn’t all bunnies and pastel eggs.
Below is a collection of paintings of the Crucifixion. They are not from the Spanish Painting from El Greco to Picasso: Time, Truth, and History exhibit. They are, however, from a diverse group of artist that have reflected on Good Friday, the Crucifixion, the Cross.