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The Dramatic Image: Baroque Prints of the 17th Century

Rembrandt van Rijn
Dutch, 1606–1669

Descent from the Cross by Torchlight

Etching, engraving, and drypoint, 1635
Fredrick B. and Kate L. Shoemaker Fund, 1977.13

Rembrandt’s virtuoso handling of space, gesture, and composition are combined in this print to convey this moving scene of Christ being removed from the cross. Rembrandt took advantage of night to enhance the drama, as witnessed by the hand reaching up out of the darkness to support the head of the dead Christ.