Pieter van Avont, 'Angels taking the Cross to Heaven'

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First half 17th century
Oil on panel, grisaille
19.8 cm
13.5 cm

Two similar grisailles in the collection of The University Museum Uppsala

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Pieter van Avont was an artist from Flanders, frequently working with Pieter Brueghel the Elder by whom he was strongly influenced. He was also friends with engraver Wenzel Hollar, who engraved a portrait of him. Pieter van Avont was famous for his putti and this painting is a good example. Around 1622/23 Pieter van Avont became a member of the Guild of st. Luke Antwerp. In 1631 he became burgher of the city.

The common putti are present in this painting. All the tools for the Descent from the Cross are in the foreground, as well as the crown of thorns and the nails. One of the putti holds up the Veronica cloth, on which, according to legend, Christ wiped his face while carrying his cross. This beautiful little painting is made in grisaille technique. It can easily be compared with two small myhtological representations with putti, also executed in grisaille technique on panel by Pieter van Avont in the University Museum of Uppsala.


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