The title that is going to be worked on is Nailing of Christ to the Cross by Sigmund Holbein (c. The theme of this painting is how Christ suffered for the sins of men. The painting was done around the year 1500. Although there is no documentations on where the painting has been made, from the history of the artist and his family, it can be assumed that it was made in either Germany or Switzerland. Sigmund Holbein came from a prolific family of painters which included his brother Hans Holbein the Elder and his two sons, Ambrosious and Hans the Younger1, all from the Augsburg school of painting. .
This particular work of art is 157.3 centimetres long and 58.6 wide. The material used was oil and tempera on panel and after 500 years or so, it is still maintained in good condition at the permanent collection of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The Museum bought it from Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest.
II. Iconographical analysis.
"The Nailing of Christ to the Cross" by Sigmund Holbein, represents what most testament to the crucifixion of Jesus say about the event. There is two depictions of Jesus-Christ on this painting: Jesus about to be put on the Cross (in the foreground) and the raising of the Cross where Jesus is nailed to (in the background). First we must consider the face of the first representation Jesus as depicted on the painting. Although His facial expression clearly shows that He is suffering, it has to be noted also of the contrasting colours between the skin of Jesus" body and his face. .
This expression of suffering is justified, as many already know, for Jesus-Christ was tortured and humiliated severely before ultimately being nailed to the Cross. As was noted above, the face is not the only sign of torture; His body is dripping with His own blood, mostly coming from the head as the crown of thorns pierce through his cranium2. But His pain was not limited to the body, but it was extended to his spirit by way of shame and that He felt betrayed by men among others (all three types of suffering mentioned are part of the five pain of the Passion, but only those three can be applied to the painting3).