Christ saying goodbye to his mother by Huber

Christ saying goodbye to his mother by Huber
Christ saying goodbye to his mother by Huber

This oil painted on a panel of considerable dimensions (95 x 68 cm) was actually part of a larger altarpiece that would be made after the year 1520 by the Germanic painter Wolf Huber(1480/85 – 1553). A work that is currently kept in the National Gallery in London.

A Huber must be placed among a group of German painters who worked in the first decades of the 16th century in the German region of Bavaria. Among that group would also be Albert Aldorfer, who by the way also painted a painting with the same theme.


Christ saying goodbye to his mother by Huber

It is a theme that can be understood as a prelude to the events of the Passion. Hence, we see a most dramatic scene, where the women are in a sense of lamentation, and even the Virgin Mary faints when she sees how her son Jesus is heading towards death. By the way, only a very small part of Jesus can be seen, and basically his hand appears on the right side in an attitude of blessing.

It is curious to observe the women who star in the painting, all of them dressed in colorful clothing and many white veils, which contrasts enormously with the dark background of the landscape behind them. And not only is there that contrast, you can also compare how their bodies and gestures are dictated by curves, while the forest ofbehind is a sequence of vertical lines. However, it is not a badly painted landscape, quite the opposite. The truth is that Huber was an extraordinary landscape painter and had dedicated himself to studying perspectives to give those backgrounds great depth.

That aspect of constructing the painting and giving it credibility is something that this author takes into account, and here we can appreciate it in various elements. For example, let's go back to the group of women who occupy a large part of the table.

There we see how he presents them to us in a kind of descending sequence from left to right. From the one that is almost standing up to the one that is passed out, and that sequence is also taken into account in the color repertoire that she uses, since we go from the grays and the lighter cloths to the red and blue tones of the reclining women and in close-up.

In short, this is a magnificent work of German painting (although the author was born in present-day Austria) and the pity is that the entire set of the complete altarpiece.

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