Craigie Aitchison, R.A. 1926 - 2009
Crucifixion 1988/89
Photo: R.A./John Hammond
© Royal Academy of Arts, London
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Crucifixion 1988/89, 1988-1989
Oil on canvas, 610 X 482 mm
Diploma Work given by Craigie Aitchison, R.A., accepted 1989
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Craigie Aitchison has said, "I think the story of the Crucifixion is one of the most exciting in the Bible." Fittingly his Diploma painting addresses this subject and one of the most prevalent themes in his work. Aitchison has pared down narrative detail to evoke dramatic mystery. Although small in scale, the pale glow of the Christ figure is the lynchpin of the composition, unifying the spaces of earth and sky. The diagonal shaft of the foreground tree echoes an anointing beam of light and acts as a reminder that this spiritual subject is rooted in the reality of nature.