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Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

The Lamentation

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A traditionally Catholic subject, the lamentation over the dead Christ is described in the apocryphal gospel of Nicodemus, not in the canonical Bible. Here, Nicodemus holds Mary Magdalene's ointment jar, and Joseph of Arimathea, with the crown of thorns, comforts the mourning Virgin. Saint John...

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Lower left, on rock: 1538 / winged dragon symbol


By 1709, Count Franciscus Antonius Liechtenstein. With Joanna, Countess of Paar (Countess of Öttingen) [see note 1]. By early 19th century, with Desfours de Mont et d'Athienville, Austria [see note 2]. By 1874, with Charles Sumner, Boston, MA, USA; 1874, bequest of Sumner to the MFA [see note 3]. (Accession date: April 27, 1874) Notes: [1] That the panel was in the collections of Count Lichtenstein and Countess Paar is suggested by a label on the back of the object inscribed: 'Franciscus Antonius Comes de Lichtenstein obtulit GO....Nata Comitissa De Oetting pro Eterna memoria die 26 augusti....una Anno 1709.' [2] That the panel was in the collection of Desfours de Mont et d'Athienville is suggested by a label with the family's coat of arms. [3] The panel was acquisitioned with the title 'Deposition.'

Credit Line

Bequest of Charles Sumner



60.3 x 40.0 cm (23 3/4 x 15 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on panel