Wine-Crucifix – A painting by Arnulf Rainer

February 25, 2009


Wine Crucifix  1957/78 Oil on canvas
1680 x 1030 mm frame: 1685 x 1035 x 40 mm


I was at the Tate Modern in London  two weeks ago, while on a short trip to England. The painting that really has inspired me from this visit is Wine-Crucifix by Arnulf Rainer. The curators of the Tate Modern have flanked a smaller painting on each side of this work creating a triptych from the three works that completes the scene at Golgotha. These two painting are works by Herman Nitsch.

As  Christians enter the 40 days of Lent, I will be focussed on the darkness  of the passion which reaches an intensity with Holy Saturday.

The Tate mentions the following details on the work:

Wine-Crucifix was originally painted as an altar-piece for the Student Chapel of the Catholic University in Graz, Austria. It hung loosely, without a frame, across a large window. Light shining through the cloth would reveal the shape of a cross beneath layers of paint. The title of the work evokes the transformation of wine into the blood of Christ. After the work was removed from its religious setting in the mid-1960s, the artist bought it back and in 1978 decided to rework it. ‘I realised that the quality and truth of the picture only grew as it became darker and darker’, Rainer has explained.



4 Responses to “Wine-Crucifix – A painting by Arnulf Rainer”

  1. Nigel Tomm Says:

    Wow, I would call it “Dark Angel.”

  2. russ.... Says:


    Yes, this is a very striking image – very haunting & another example of less is more.


  3. Incredible. I’ve never seen this painting before. Thanks!

  4. graaace Says:

    thats gold!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: