Lamentation of Christ

One of the most outstanding jewels of movable art from Saint Mary’s Cathedral deposited in the Museum of Sacred Art in Vitoria is the canvas of the Lamentation of Christ attributed to Gaspar de Crayer (1584-1669), one of the great Flemish painters of the 17th century alongside Rubens and Van Dyck. The work was commissioned by the brothers Francisco (1602-1659) and Martín de Galarreta (1606-1673), the Secretaries of State and War in Flanders. They intended to decorate the Chapel of Saint Prudentius and the Chapel of the Holy Christ, of which they were patrons, with this magnificent painting. 

It depicts an episode following the Descent from the Cross in which those closest to Christ – the Virgin, Saint John and Magdalene – are mourning before the deceased figure of the Son of God. It is an elegant painting of refined technique in which Crayer’s personality is clearly on display in its matter-of-fact tone, far removed from the heroic pathos of his predecessors, Rubens and Van Dyck. It is a dramatic subject that Crayer was able to resolve with exquisite refinement, without having to delve too deeply into the pain and drama of Christ’s death.


Ficha técnica

  • Author: Attributed to Gaspar de Crayer
  • Date: c. 1640
  • Technique: Oil on fabric
  • Measurements: 276 x 208 cm
  • Place: Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art (Vitoria-Gasteiz)

Image gallery


TABAR ANITUA, Fernando. “Sección Lienzo”, En: LÓPEZ LÓPEZ DE ULLIBARRI, Félix; DABOUZA SALCEDO, Arantxa (coord.). Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro. Vitoria-Gasteiz: Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro. 1999. pp. 178, 180, 188.

ARANSAY SAURA, Cristina; Marina LÓPEZ VILLANUEVA. “Restauración de la pintura Lamentación sobre Cristo Muerto atribuido a Gaspar de Crayer”, en: Micaela Portilla. Homenaje. In Memoriam, Vitoria-Gasteiz: Diputación Foral de Álava, 2007. pp. 340-347.

BARTOLOMÉ GARCÍA, Fernando R. “Lamentación sobre Cristo muerto de la catedral de Santa María de Vitoria-Gasteiz atribuido a Gaspar de Crayer. Revisión y nuevas aportaciones”, Espacio, tiempo y forma. Serie VII, Historia del arte, 24. 2011, pp. 153-179.

ERKIZIA MARTIKORENA, Aintzane; AGUINAGALDE LÓPEZ, Itziar. El Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro y su colección. Vitoria-Gasteiz: Museo Diocesano de Arte Sacro, 2020. pp. 82-83.