Feb 10, 2015

The Passion: Christ in Limbo

The Passion: Christ in Limbo

c. 1480

Martin Schongauer

(German, c.1450–1491)


Support: Laid paper

Sheet: 16.5 x 11.7 cm (6 1/2 x 4 5/8 in.)

Norman O. Stone and Ella A. Stone Memorial Fund 2015.20

Catalogue raisonné: L 29; TIB 8 comm., pt. 1, 0801.029


Did you know?

This image of Christ trampling a monstrous demon and piercing it with his cross recalls the one of Archangel Michael in another print by Martin Schongauer (1952.99).


Martin Schongauer's series of the Passion of Christ was his largest set of engravings, made around 1480, and extensively copied across Europe. It consists of twelve prints detailing the suffering of Christ in the last days of his life. Schongauer's version focuses on crowded scenes, grotesque physiognomies of Christ's tormentors, and great pathos in the compositions. Here, Schongauer represented the episode in which Christ, between his death and resurrection, descended into Limbo to bring salvation to the righteous ones who had died before him. Christ majestically strides over a vanquished demon crushed under his foot, and holds Adams with his left hand.

See also
PR - Engraving
Type of artwork: 

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email [email protected].

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.