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Pieter van Mol

The Deposition


Pieter van Mol
Antwerp 1599 – Paris 1650


The Deposition


About 1630


Oil on canvas


200 x 159 cm


Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michal Hornstein, inv. 2008.45


Western Art

Van Mol occupies a fascinating role between the Flemish and French schools of art in the first half of the seventeenth century. Van Mol is believed to have worked with Rubens in Antwerp where he is registered as a master in the Guild of Saint Luke. He moved in Paris where he gained major church commissions and was appointed painter to the Queen Anne of Austria. He became one of the twelve founding members of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture in 1648. Four other versions of this Deposition by Van Mol survive, he created ours before moving to France. One of the most remarkable attributes of Van Mol is his ability to synthesize major influences — Rubens, Janssens, Jordaens and Caravaggio. The painting presents the stark, dead body of Christ and the two profoundly grieving Marys (the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene) against a tenebrous sky, along with the bloody Cross and instruments of the Passion, as the nearly life-size John, the beloved disciple, confronts us, insisting upon our empathy for this divine sacrifice.

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