The Raising of the Cross

The Raising of the Cross
Artist Peter Paul Rubens
Year 1610–11
Medium Oil on canvas
Location Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp
Dimensions 182 in × 134 in
462 cm × 341 cm
Famous Paintings by Peter P. Rubens
Samson and Delilah
The Descent from the Cross
Prometheus Bound
The Raising of the Cross
Adoration of the Magi
Consequences of War
Complete Works

The Raising of the Cross, sometimes referred to as The Elevation of the Cross, is a painting dating from around 1610 by Peter Paul Rubens. The painting is a large triptych (done in three panels) work in oil on canvas, measuring 182 by 134 inches.

Rubens painted the work for St. Walpurgis church in Antwerp, but the work now resides in Antwerp’s Cathedral of Our Lady. Whereas most triptychs of the time portrayed three different aspects of a story in each panel, the panels in The Raising of the Cross deals with a single story.

Style and Composition

The painting is done in Baroque style. Rubens completed the painting after he had returned to his native Flanders following several years studying in Italy. The painting clearly shows the influence of Michelangelo’s works on the artist.

The center panel depicts muscular characters raising the cross, to which Jesus has been nailed. The left panel shows onlookers, including Mary. The right panel shows Roman soldiers manhandling the two thieves who were crucified with Jesus.

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