Craigie Aitchison (1926-2009)

Etching on paper, made from four plates

79 x 68 cm


Methodist Modern Art Collection 
No. AIT/2010

Image Copyright © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. The Methodist Church Registered Charity no. 1132208

Biblical commentary

Matthew 27: 35–36

This seemingly simple image is in fact a very sophisticated construct of space and colour. The unflinching identification of Christ’s pain does not wholly negate the image’s immediate playfulness. The artist referred to the crucifixion as ‘the most horrific story I have ever heard’ and so there was no need to highlight the suffering: any depiction was enough to recall all its mystery, terror and wonder. A Bedlington terrier dog was originally shown at the foot of the cross. A printer trying to help finish the work added a tiny detail to the dog’s head but, on seeing it, the artist erased the dog completely. However, its ghostly outline is still visible to the bottom left hand side of the cross.

Commentary based on A Guide to the Methodist Art Collection.