Frederics Brolius – “Crucifixion, The Descent from the Cross , or Deposition of Christ” – circa 1640, oil on copper, Antwerp School
As depicted in art, from the Gospels’ accounts of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus taking Christ down from the cross after his crucifixion (John 19:38-42). In Byzantine art the topic became popular in the 9th century, and in the West from the 10th century. The Descent from the Cross is the 13th Station of the Cross.Other figures not mentioned in the Gospels who are often included in depictions of this subject include St. John the Evangelist, who is sometimes depicted supporting a fainting Mary, and Mary Magdalene. The Gospels mention an undefined number of women as watching the crucifixion, including the Three Marys, (Mary Salome being mentioned in Mark 15:40), and also that the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene saw the burial (Mark 15:47). These and further women and unnamed male helpers are often shown.