The Descent from the Cross  Closed Tripytich


"When the triptych is closed, all that worshippers can see is the outside paintings of the wings devoted to St Christopher. whose  Greek name 'Christophorus' means 'Christ-bearer'. According to his medieval legend, the huge St Christopher carried the Christ Child across a river on his shoulders. A hermit on the right lights his way with a lantern.

This is the key to the entire painting (open panel), in which the friends and holy women in the centre panel, and Mary and Simeon in the wings are also 'Christ-bearers'.

The left wing of the great triptych of the Descent from the Cross shows the Virgin Mary, pregnant with Jesus, visiting her cousin Elizabeth, who will shortly give birth to John the Baptist. The women, accompanied by their respective husbands Joseph and Zacharias, greet one another in an imposing porch. A servant carries a basket containing travel items.

The right wing of the great triptych of the Descent from the Cross is devoted to the presentation of the Infant Christ in the Temple at Jerusalem. The elderly Simeon holds the Child in his arms while the prophetess Anna, located in the shadows between Simeon and Mary, looks on joyfully. Joseph, who has brought two sacrificial doves with him, kneels down respectfully."