Christ at the column

Cristóvão de Figueiredo Attrib. (?-1543)


6.000 - 10.000

Session 1

29 June 2021


Oil on panel

50x12 cm



Additional Information

Attribute a painting to Cristóvão de Figueiredo is particularly difficult once there’s no documents that enable us do so with absolute certainty. We know that Figueiredo executed a large altarpiece for Santa Cruz de Coimbra, the execution of that work took the entire decade of 1520. Fortunately big part of that altarpiece exists today kept between the Machado de Castro Museum, Coimbra and and the Museu de Arte Antiga, Lisboa where is exhibited one of Figueiredo most important works: the Deposition of Christ.
The words of Joaquim Oliveira Caetano, one of the most important experts in Portuguese old masters synthetizes the importance of that work: “Neither after or before of the great Coimbra panels the attribution of a work to Figueiredo is for sure but those panels are more than enough to define a Portuguese leading master capable of creating deep sentiment not only in drama but also with serenity scenes, capable also of the articulation of the character, the landscape and the costume and even an extraordinary portrait technic that reminds us of Nuno Gonçalves by the serene rigor and interior complexity”.
We know that Figueiredo, away from the works executed in partnership with others, like at Igreja de Ferreirim, received great commissions and even continued drawing compositions for others and cards for tapestries like those of Tomar. Even more, Figueiredo’s busy workshop produced small devotional works suited for a new way of devotion,known as“Devotio Moderna”.Says Oliveira Caetano about it:“The existence of small portable triptychs,in its original form or already separated (...) are evidences that he supplied models or created at his workshop paintings for a devotional market less dependent of the great commission and probably, as happened in Flemish cities, for sale.”
It’s exactly one of that works that Veritas now offers for sale. A lateral part of a small triptych intended for domestic use.The picture shows to the prayer Christ in the moments before Passion and transmitted the pain and suffering that Christ went through. Naturally the painting had to transmit that feeling and is that that Figueiredo gives us on that panel.
The squalid body of Christ falters with suffering supported by the column that marks vertically the composition. Although not shown on that specific painting the instruments of Passion had already made some damage and we can guess the punishments suffered by the bloody wounds on His skin. These details are also marks of Figueiredo’s work.
Anísio Franco

Closed Auction