Skip Navigation

The Descent from the Cross (La descent de croix)

James Tissot

European Art

In an image that recalls centuries of precedents, Christ’s loved ones have gathered to draw down his body for burial. Each nail is carefully removed, Tissot explains, before the legs are swathed in linen and the body, held in a long band of material, is slowly lowered into the upraised arms of the Virgin Mary, who is clad in blue. She is joined by the Magdalene, who once more wipes the feet of Jesus, and Saint John the Evangelist, who stands at the foot of the cross holding the shroud with which Jesus will be wrapped.
MEDIUM Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES 1886-1894
    DIMENSIONS Image: 13 1/4 x 9 9/16 in. (33.7 x 24.3 cm) Sheet: 13 1/4 x 9 9/16 in. (33.7 x 24.3 cm) Frame: 20 x 15 x 1 1/2 in. (50.8 x 38.1 x 3.8 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed bottom center: "J.J. Tissot"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 00.159.320
    CREDIT LINE Purchased by public subscription
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
    This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.

    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact (charges apply).

    The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.

    The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.

    For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

    For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

    If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
    CAPTION James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Descent from the Cross (La descent de croix), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 13 1/4 x 9 9/16 in. (33.7 x 24.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.320
    IMAGE overall, 00.159.320_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2008
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.