About this artwork

In the eighteenth century the majority of British artists and art theorists dismissed Dürer’s works as hard and without grace. However they did recognise his technical skills. He was also accused of sticking to his own rules, outlined in his writings on proportion and perspective. John Runciman’s small painting provides a surprising example of an artist of this period using a design by Dürer as his compositional model. His small panel closely follows Dürer's woodcut of this subject from the series ‘The Small Passion’. John Runciman, who died in Rome aged twenty-four, was the younger brother of the Scottish painter Alexander Runciman. John would have had access to old master prints from his brother’s collection and presumably his little panel was an aesthetic experiment based on one.

John Runciman

John Runciman