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This small painting depicts a solemn religious scene. Two angels kneel in quiet contemplation next to Christ, whose body has been taken down from the Cross following his crucifixion. While the Gospels make no mention of angels alongside the dead Christ, two are said to have been present at his tomb on the morning of the Resurrection.
Works on copper, like this one, are usually of small dimensions and were primarily used for private devotion. The subject of Guercino’s painting, which encourages prayer and contemplation, reflects this.
Oil on copper
H 36.8 x W 44.4 cm
Holwell Carr Bequest, 1831