The Dead Christ Supported by Angels

about 1580–88
Paolo Veronese (Paolo Caliari) (Italian (Venetian), 1528–1588)


98.1 x 71.4 cm (38 5/8 x 28 1/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

Not On View





Paolo Caliari, called Veronese because he was born in Verona, was famous for his large, crowded, and colorful paintings, which decorated the palaces and churches of Venice. Veronese focused here, however, on the harsh physical reality of death. Cold light intensifies the pallor of Christ’s skin, poignantly contrasted with the warm, rosy hand of the angel who clasps his wrist. The intimate scale and meditative mood of this somber devotional image occur only in the artist’s late work.


1828, possibly Pozzi collection, Milan; June 15, 1828, possibly sold by Pozzi to Count Teodoro Lechi (b. 1778 - d. 1866), Brescia, Italy; 1845, possibly sold by Lechi to Mr. Owen (perhaps Thomas B. Bulkeley-Owen [b. 1790 - d. 1867], Tedsmore Hall, Shropshire, England) [see note 1]. Private collection, Italy; sold from the private collection to Durlacher Bros., New York; 1930, sold by Durlacher to the MFA for $16,000. (Accession Date: December 4, 1930)

[1] This may be the painting, said to have been acquired from Pozzi and sold to Mr. Owen, that is included in the inventory of Teodoro Lechi. See Fausto Lechi, ed., "I Quadri delle Collezioni Lechi in Brescia: Storia e Documenti" (Florence, 1968), p. 186, inv. no. 120. A letter from Ellis Waterhouse, Oxford, to Lucretia H. Giese of the MFA (February 14, 1979) suggests that "Mr. Owen" may be T. B. Bulkely-Owen.

Credit Line

Maria Antoinette Evans Fund