Christ on the Cross, 1632 by Diego Velazquez
Christ, on the Cross represents a fundamental moment in Spanish religious art - in which naturalism, condemned by the Church of Rome, enjoyed a very wide development in the name of the triumphal apotheosis, on a popular basis - almost as a polemic against Baroque.
This painting, moreover, constitutes a decisive turning-point, at least in the spiritual field, in the career of Velazquez. In fact he resolves his religious problems, originally characterized by the tendency towards expressionism and sublimation, in connection with El Greco and Caravaggio. Only a decisive lowering of mystical and eschatological values could allow such a balance to be struck between subjectivism and reality, between the image of faith and the image of nature. However, only the progressive diminishing of tension towards the transcendent could allow Velazquez to express his wealth of human and earthly interests.