The Entombment of Christ, 1816-1825
After Raphael's painting
Oil on wood. 34,0 x 47,1 cm
Inventory number: B113
Works, relating to this work: Raphael, The Entombment, 1507, oil on wood, Borghese Gallery, RomeEnlarge photo
The picture is a recreation of Raphael’s The Deposition from 1507 in the Galleria Borghese at Rome. Raphael was considered the greatest artist of all time, but Cornelius, who arrived in Rome in 1811 and joined Overbeck and the Nazarenes, was nevertheless aware that even the art of the incomparable Raphael did not perhaps in every respect live up to the demand for piety that had applied in the Middle Ages and which the Nazarenes were working to re-establish. Whereas Raphael’s version is characterised by almost heroic action, Cornelius allows a simple, quiet sorrow to descend on his scene.
Cornelius was born at Düsseldorf and left Rome in 1819 because he had been appointed Director of the Academy of Fine Arts in his native city. At the same time he was given the commission by Ludwig of Bavaria to decorate the Glyptotek at Munich, and in 1824 he was appointed Director of the Academy there. His importance for German painting in the 19th century was enormous.