Once part of a multipaneled altarpiece painted for the church of Porto San Giorgio (on the Adriatic coast of Italy), this painting depicts Christ's mother and followers attending to his corpse. The gestures of the Virgin and Mary Magdalen draw attention to the wounds of Christ, suggesting that the panel was a devotional image meant to inspire the sympathy of worshipers. The grieving figures of Saint John the Evangelist (on Christ's left), Joseph of Arimathea, and Nicodemus provide examples for the spectator to follow. The intensely expressive figures, emphasized by detailed draftsmanship, are hallmarks of Crivelli's style.
Artist Carlo Crivelli, Italian, active 1457-ca. 1493
  • The Deposition of Christ
  • Lamentation (alternate title)
  • Imago Pietatis (alternate title)
Date ca. 1470
Medium Tempera and gold on wood panel
Dimensions Unframed (Lunette panel (semi-circular)): 16 1/2 × 45 inches (41.9 × 114.3 cm)
Framed (irreg.): 25 7/8 × 54 5/8 × 3 9/16 inches (65.7 × 138.7 × 9.1 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, General Membership Fund
Accession Number 25.35
Department European Painting
On View European: Medieval and Renaissance W234, Level 2 (see map)
probably commissioned by Giorgio da Prenta Albanese [of the Salvadori family];
1470-1803, Church of Porto San Giorgio (Porto San Giorgo, Fermo, Italy);
1803, possibly moved to Chiesa del Suffragio, where it had two temporary residences;
by 1834, Salvadori family;
1834, sold by Luigi Salvadori (Rome, Italy);
1834, purchased by Hudson [associated with the Portuguese embassy] (possibly Rome, Italy);
by 1854, Alexander Barker (possibly London, England);
by 1871, until 1892 [or from 1854 until 1876], 1st Earl of Dudley;
June 25, 1892, sold by (Christie's, London, England) auction Earl of Dudley, lot 59;
1892, purchased by (Agnew, London, England);
until ca. 1920, Thomas Brockleband (Wateringbury Place, Kent, England);
1925 (Duveen, New York, New York, USA and London, England);
1925-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Maggiori, A. Dall'itinerario d'Italia e sue più nobili curiosità d'ogni specie, vol. 1. Ancona, 1832, p. 219.

Ricci, A. Memorie storiche delle arti e degli artisti della Marca di Ancona, vol. 1. Marcerata, 1834, pp. 209, 227.

Waagen, G. Treasures of Art in Great Britain, vol. 2. London, 1854, p. 127.

Crowe, J. and G.B. Cavalcaselle. A History of Painting in North Italy, vol. I. London, 1871, p. 91, footnote 4.

Exh. cat., Royal Academy. London, 1871, no. 314.

Early Venetian Pictures. Exh. cat., Burlington Fine Arts Club. London, 1912, no. 10.

Crowe, J.B. and G. Cavalcaselle. A History of Painting in North Italy, 2nd ed., vol. 1. T. Borenius, ed. London, 1912, p. 91 note.

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Venturi, A. Storia dell'arte italiana 7, pt. 3. Milan, 1914. p. 392 (fig. 299). [dated before 1480.]

Testi, L. Storia della pittura veneziana 2. Bergamo, 1915, pp. 567 note 3, 637-638, 678-679.

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Drey, F. Carlo Crivelli und seine Schule. Munich, 1927, pp. 53, pl. XIII.

Borenius, T. "Pictures from American Collections at Burlington House." Apollo 11 (March 1930): pp. 153-162, p. 162 (fig. XI).

Exhibition of Italian Art. Exh. cat., Burlington House. London, 1930, no. 194.

Heil, W. Catalogue of Paintings in the Permanent Collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1930, cat. 44 (ill.).

Berenson, B. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 161. [as Pietà.]

Ricci, A. Memorie storiche delle arti i degli artisti della Marca di Ancona, vol. 1. 1934, p. 209.

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Van Marle, R. The Development of the Italian Schools of Paintings, Vol. XVIII. The Renaissance Painters of Venice. The Hague, 1936, p. 15 (fig. 8).

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Longhi, R. Viatico per cinque secoli di pittura veneziana. Florence, 1946, p. 57 note (fig. 53).

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Davies, M. The Earlier Italian Schools. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 1951, p. 131.

Zampetti, P. Carlo Crivelli nelle Marche. Urbino, 1952, p. 67.

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Berenson, B. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Venetian School, vol. I. London, 1957, p. 69.

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Crivelli e i Crivelleschi. Exh. cat., Palazzo Ducale. Venice, 1961, p. 32, cat. 7 (ill.).

Zampetti, P. Carlo Crivelli. Milan, 1961, pp. 15, 74 (fig. 16).

Paintings in the DIA: A Checklist of the Paintings Acquired Before June 1965. Detroit, 1965, p. 30.

Richardson, E.P., ed. Treasures from the Detroit Institute of Arts, 3rd ed. Detroit, 1966, p. 80, (ill.).

Shapely, F.R. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: Italian Schools, vol. 2 (XV-XVI century). London, 1968, pp. 34-35.

Zampetti, P. La pittura Marchigiana da Gentile a Raffaello. Milan, 1969, p. 180.

Cummings, F and C. Elam, eds. Detroit Institute of Arts Illustrated Handbook. Detroit, 1971, p. 83 (ill.)

Fredericksen and Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, MA, 1972, p. 60. [as Entombment].

Bovero, A. L'opera completa del Crivelli. Milan, 1974, p. 87, cat. 24.

Fahy, E. "Italian Paintings at Fenway Court and Elsewhere." Connoisseur 198, no. 795 (May 1978): pp. 34-35.

Cummings, F., ed. Selected Works from the Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1979, p. 134, cat. 107 (ill.).

Zampetti, Pietro. Carlo Crivelli, Florence, 1986, pp. 72-3, 256, pl. 9. [as ca. 1470.]

Henshaw, J., ed. A Visitor's Guide: The Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, 1996, p. 177 (ill.).

Lightbown, R. Carlo Crivelli. New Haven and London, 2004, pp.109, 123-4, (ill.) (fig. 29).

Secrest, Meryle. Duveen: a life in art. New York, 2004, p. 424.