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Christ on the Cross

copy after Reni Guido

(Bologna 1575 - 1642)

Purchased by the Italian state in 1916, this painting is a modest-quality reproduction of Guido Reni’s Christ on the Cross, held today at the Galleria Estense in Modena. It depicts Jesus on the cross, illuminated by a ray of light coming from above to emphasise the tragic moment of his death.

Object details

18th century
oil on canvas
24 x 19 cm

20th-century frame with rocaille decoration, 26 x 21 x 2 cm


Purchased by Italian state, 1916.


Purchased in 1916 for 100 lire, this canvas is a mediocre copy of the Christ on the Cross executed by Guido Reni in approximately 1639 for the main altar of the Confraternita del Santissimo Sacramento (also called the Cinque Piaghe) in Reggio Emilia, which today is preserved in the Galleria Estense in Modena. The popularity of Reni’s work – which according to Paola della Pergola in turn derives from Albrecht Dūrer’s Crucifix (Gemäldegalerie, Dresden; Della Pergola 1955) – is attested to by the many replicas realised in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Antonio Iommelli

  • R. Longhi, Precisioni nelle Gallerie Italiane, I, La R. Galleria Borghese, Roma 1928, p. 186;
  • P. della Pergola, La Galleria Borghese. I Dipinti, I, Roma 1955, p. 65, n. 112;
  • K. Herrmann Fiore, Galleria Borghese Roma scopre un tesoro. Dalla pinacoteca ai depositi un museo che non ha più segreti, San Giuliano Milanese 2006, p. 183.