Jan van der Straet's Passion of Christ

Joannes Stradanus (1523–1605).
Passio, mors, et resurrectione domini nostri Iesu Christi.
[Antwerp]: Phillips Galle, [1584–1587]. (BRB0999)

This is the first edition of a suite of twenty-one engravings designed by the Flemish painter Joannes Stradanus (Jan van der Straet). Trained in Antwerp, Stradanus spent most of his prolific career in Florence, working for the Medici family. His designs, engraved by such Flemish masters as Theodore Galle, Jan Collaert, and Joannes Wierix, gained immense popularity throughout Europe. In the exhibited suite of engravings of Christ’s Passion, plate 18 depicts the Entombment of Christ from the unusual viewpoint of the dark interior of Christ’s sepulcher, which allowed Stradanus to introduce dramatic lighting effects. Whereas the Latin text in the frame below the image includes a quotation from John 19:40–42, the text above offers an Old Testament prefiguration of Christ’s Resurrection: “And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”

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Illustrated Books
Jan van der Straet's Passion of Christ