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Christ in Agony

Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion

Christ in Agony

Culture: Spanish or Latin American Colonial
Date: late 17th century–18th century
Medium: Wood and encaustic
Dimensions:
21 1/2 x 16 x 4 1/2 inches (54.6 x 40.6 x 11.4 cm)
Classification: Sculpture
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Label Text:In the region of Cuenta, Ecuador, in the late 1600s, several artists were known for their particularly bloody images of the Crucified Christ, using red encaustic wax for blood and bone inserts in the figure’s lacerated wounds. This work stands out from the Ecuadorian examples by a sophisticated treatment of the volume of the body and modeling of the face, and by its dynamic, unusual posture. There is a pronounced twist of the torso, and a thrust of the hips and left shoulder that pushes the body off its central axis, creating a sensuous S-curve that almost contradicts the ghastliness of the image. It is possible the sculpture was created by a Spanish artist who traveled to the New World, combining skillful carving with local traditions.
Provenance: Purchased 2000 through (Joseph G. Gerena Fine Art) by Duke University Museum of Art, now Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
Object number: 2000.6.2