The work, studied by the CAEM’s scientifc consultant and former professor at the CSIC, Dra. Isabel Mateo Gómez, represents a new milestone in the production of the Extremaduran genius
The ability to move through the depiction of pain, which forces the viewer to join the figure in the most human aspect of Christ’s suffering, is the flagship of the painting of Luis de Morales, known as the Divine, for his ability to capture this pathos in his religious painting and for his artistic gifts, unparalleled in his day with the exception of El Greco.
All this is evident in this exquisite Jesus with the Cross on his shoulders that falls for the first time, which dates from 1550 according to the inscription of the upper right-hand corner of the panel. The composition, which is new and different from those in the Morales corpus, recalls models by the Toledo artist Correa de Vivar and the Valencian Joan de Joanes. The modelling of the hands, Christ’s musculature, the rope around his neck, the aquiline nose joined to the eyebrows, the eyes deviated by pain, the mouth showing the teeth, the treatment of the Saviour’s hair and his ear are all fully in keeping with the unique character of the Extremaduran painter.
On this occasion, Dra. Isabel Mateo Gómez, scientific consultant to the CAEM and leading expert in the study of the painter, was asked to lead the analysis of this piece, producing an exciting attribution report in which she details all those aspects that claim the paternity of the artwork, attributing it without any doubt to the painter. Based on the valuable text by Dra. Mateo Gómez, the CAEM research team, apart from enjoying this exceptional painting, has complemented the aforementioned study by carrying out a series of analytical techniques, especially Digital Microscopy and Infrared Photography (IR), confirming and underpinning the artwork of the great expert Mateo Gómez, above all from the meticulous observation of the painting. Once again, the analytical sum of techniques and collegiate views has been the major distinguishing and differential point of the CAEM Group.