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Relief - The Deposition
  • The Deposition
    Michelangelo, born 1475 - died 1564
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The Deposition

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Florence (made)

  • Date:

    16th century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Michelangelo, born 1475 - died 1564 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gilded stucco relief on a slate background

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W.L Hildburgh, F.S.A.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

In the centre of this relief, the body of Christ is lowered from the cross by five figures on two ladders propped against the cross beam. On the bottom rung of the right hand ladder, a bearded figure with his back turned prepares to receive the corpse. This composition is closely related to a drawing in the Teyler Museum in Haarlem, variously attributed to Michelangelo, Sebastiano del Piombo and Daniele da Volterra.

Physical description

Relief in gilded stucco on a slate background in a contemporary painted and inlaid frame. In the centre Christ is being lowered from the Cross by one man astride the cross bean and four others, two on a ladder resting on the left arms and two on a ladder on the right arm of the cross. Another man stands on a ladder holding Christ's right leg. To right and left are groups of mourners.

Place of Origin

Florence (made)


16th century (made)


Michelangelo, born 1475 - died 1564 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Gilded stucco relief on a slate background


Height: 32.5 cm, Width: 23 cm

Object history note

Given by Dr W.L Hildburgh, F.S.A (bought at Sotheby's 20 May 1927, Lot 39). The relief is said (B.F.A.C Catalogue) to have been in the Sir Thomas Lawrence and Woodburn Collections.

Historical context note

The composition is closely related to that shown in a well-known drawing by Michael Angelo in the Teyler Collection at Haarlem which has been ascribed to Michael Angelo (Knapp), to Sebastiano del Piombo (Berenson) and to the School of Michael Angelo (Brinckmann). This gesso bears a close resemblance to a damaged stucco relied in the Museo Buonarrotti in Florence.

Descriptive line

Relief ‘The Deposition’, gilded stucco on slate, school of Michelangelo, Florence, 16th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

The Genius of the Sculptor in Michelangelo's Words Exhibition Catalogue, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1992, pp.188-9
Lightbown, R. 'Le Cere artistiche del Cinquecento II' in Arte Illustrata. nos. 34-6, Oct-Dec 1970, pp.30-39.
Raggio, Olga. The Vatican Collections. New York, 1983, p.114, no. 53.
Pope-Hennessy, John. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Her Majesty's Stationary Office, 1964. pp.434-5
Chapman, Hugo. Michelangelo : drawings : closer to the master, London : British Museum Press, 2005




Gilded; Painted; Inlaid


Sculpture Collection

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