Burial of Christ

This is a copy of a famous work by Caravaggio, now in the Pinacoteca Vaticana in Rome, that was painted for Saint Mary’s Church in Vallicella (Chiesa Nuova). It reproduces almost exactly the model created by Caravaggio with only minor variations. The painting must have been completed in the 17th century, a time period that coincides with that of its gilded, gadrooned frame. There are two possibilities: either the artist copied the original work, and was therefore sent from Rome, or it was based on a copy that already existed in Spain. It was placed in the Galarreta family chapel in 1785, when the painting of the Lamentation of Christ was moved to the sacristy, and it depicts the moment when Nicodemus and John are placing the inert body of Christ is in the tomb. The Arma Christi (hammer, tongs, nails and crown of thorns) are positioned on the floor in reference to the Passion of Christ. The painting is not of great quality and has been extensively retouched, most likely in the 19th century, when work was done on several paintings in the newly named cathedral.


Ficha técnica

  • Author: Anonymous. Copy of Caravaggio
  • Date: 17th century
  • Technique: Oil on canvas
  • Measurements: 191 x 214 cm
  • Place: Saint Mary’s Cathedral (Vitoria-Gasteiz)

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AZCÁRATE RISTORI, José M.ª de. “Catedral de Santa María (catedral Vieja)”. En: PORTILLA VITORIA, Micaela J. et al. Catálogo Monumental Diócesis de Vitoria: Ciudad de Vitoria. Vitoria-Gasteiz: Obra Cultural de la Caja de Ahorros Municipal, tomo III, 1968, p. 108.

TABAR ANITUA, Fernando. Barroco importado en Álava y Diócesis de Vitoria-Gasteiz: Escultura y Pintura [cat.]. Vitoria-Gasteiz: Diputación Foral de Álava, 1995, p. 133.

BARTOLOMÉ GARCÍA, Fernando R. “Fundación y patronato de los Alday y Galarreta. Las capillas de San Prudencio y Santo Cristo en la catedral de Santa María de Vitoria-Gasteiz”. Ars Bilduma, n.º 0, 2010, pp. 36-37.