SIR STANLEY SPENCER RA (1891-1959)
Study of the Removal of the Body of Christ from the Cross (England, c.1950)
Pencil on cream paper
Signed in pencil at the lower right
Description / Expertise
No finished painting of this subject appears to have derived from this compositional drawing. In 1958 Spencer received a commission to paint a Crucifixion for the new chapel of Aldenham School and the present drawing may perhaps represent an early idea for that project. Spencer's final painting of The Crucifixion is quite different in subject and mood to the present drawing and was the subject of controversy when first exhibited. In contrast to the present drawing where Christ's attendants lovingly detach His crucified, but apparently living, body from the Cross, the Aldenham picture shows Christ's body from behind at the moment when He was nailed to the Cross.