The Altarpiece - the Crucifixion

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3D Image

Geoffrey Marchal
published on 26 April 2017

The altarpiece was procured for Esrum Abbey by its abbot in 1496 CE, Peder Andersen. After the Lutheran Reformation it was used in St. Olaf Church in Elsinore and later in Holme Olstrup Church in southern Sjalland. National Museum of Denmark (Copenhagen, Denmark). Made with Memento Beta (now ReMake) from AutoDesk.

The central part of a triptych. The main subject is the Crucifixion, depicted with attendant crowds. On the side compartments are five saints. On the left, above, St. Bernhard of Clairvaux, the main figure of the Cistercian order. In a vision he helped Christ to descend from the cross. Below St. Julia, who defeated and bound the devil. On the right, above, St. Ursula and ten of the 71,000 virgins who joined her in martyrdom at the hands of the Huns. Below, St. Felicitas and an unidentified female saint.

The figure of Abbot Peder of Esrum was allowed to remain for a long time kneeling in his Cistercian habit at the foot of Christ´s cross. In around 1650 CE, however, he was transformed into a Lutheran vicar by the simple means of adding a full beard, long hair, altar vessels and a ruff.

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Cite This Work

APA Style

Marchal, G. (2017, April 26). The Altarpiece - the Crucifixion. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Marchal, Geoffrey. "The Altarpiece - the Crucifixion." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified April 26, 2017.

MLA Style

Marchal, Geoffrey. "The Altarpiece - the Crucifixion." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 26 Apr 2017. Web. 07 Feb 2023.