Drawn by the Brush: Oil Sketches by Peter Paul Rubens
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Rubens as Entrepreneur: Designs for Sculpture, Architecture and Prints
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Peter Paul Rubens
The Road to Calvary (Christ Carrying the Cross), ca. 1632
Oil, emulsion paint on panel, 59.7 x 45.7 cm
University of California, Berkeley Art Museum, inv. 1966.16


Catalog Entry by Marjorie E. Wieseman

Prodded by the butt of a soldier's lance, wrenched forward with a sharp tug on his hair, Christ stumbles beneath the weight of the cross carried to his Crucifixion atop Calvary. At right, the elderly Simon of Cyrene and a heavily muscled young man struggle to relieve Christ of his burden. The placement of a muscular figure viewed from the rear in the foreground of the composition was a device Rubens had already used to great effect in The Elevation of the Cross painted in 1610 for the Antwerp Cathedral. Another conceit borrowed from the earlier painting is the introduction of an anecdotal figure in the immediate foreground: there, a dog, and here, two infants...


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