The Dead Christ by Fra Angelico

Fra Angelico was a Dominican Friar who began his career as an illuminator but achieved fame and renown as an artist.


Pen and brown ink & brown and red wash heightened with white on paper
35.5 x 27.4 cm
Art Fund grant:
£50,000 ( Total: £102,188; Tax remission)
Acquired in:

His last major commissions were monumental fresco cycles in St Peter's and the Vatican Palace, Rome. Sources disagree on the original purpose of the drawing, describing it variously as a study for the figure of Christ in the Deposition, possibly executed for an altarpiece now at San Marco, or possibly a later copy from the latter. The character of the drawing also suggests that it could have been executed as a religious image in its own right, in keeping with the contemporary private devotional practice in which the viewer is asked to participate on a personal level with the suffering of Christ.


Francesco da A. Gali Fabra, Barcelona; Pedro Succarats, Paris, 1938; Colonel Norman Colville, M.C.; the Trustees of the N.R. Colville Will Trust.

Venue details

Fitzwilliam Museum Trumpington Street, CAMBRIDGE Cambridgeshire CB2 1RB 01223 332900

Entry details

Free to all

Tue – Sat, 10am – 5pm Sun & Bank Holidays 12noon – 5pm Closed Mon, 24 – 26, 31 Dec and 1 Jan