Gelijkenis I & II (Likeness I & II)


Oil on canvas in two parts

60 x 230 x 2.5 cm (23 5/8 x 90 9/16 x 1 in.) (each)

Gelijkenis I & II, a life-size diptych by Marlene Dumas, offers a deep reflection both on painting and our times.

This powerful work explicitly refers to the codes of religious painting, namely depictions of the dead Christ. In particular, its format and iconography recall the painting by Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) in the Kunstmuseum in Basel. This masterpiece of Dutch painting shows Christ between the Deposition from the Cross and the Resurrection with a raw and morbid realism.

Painted in a palette of grey, green and brown tones, the diptych beckons us to reflect deeply on death, redemption and the history of art. It was first exhibited in 2007 during the "Sequence 1" show at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice.