Crucifixion

 

In the Western painting tradition, crucifixion paintings usually depict only the Cross of Christ. Hofhuizen frequently broke with this tradition by including both the ‘good’ and the ‘evil’ murderer in his crucifixion paintings. He also broke with the tradition of placing John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene at the foot of the Cross – he often replaced them by a crowd. In some paintings this crowd serves to highlight what Hofhuizen regarded as an essentially joyful moment (“it was at this moment that the whole of mankind was redeemed”), but in others Hofhuizen used it to contrast the suffering of Christ with the trifling concerns of the writhing masses.

Kruisiging 1973

 

Children with Ball
1953
Crucifixion in the park
1958
Weeping women
1976

In some of Hofhuizen’s crucifixion paintings, the crucifixion scene is not even in the foreground, but only serves to highlight the “weeping women” theme.

The special color schemes and serene compositions of Titian and El Greco had a profound influence on Hofhuizen. We see the same serenity, in cadmium red and yellow and ultramarine blue, recur in many of Hofhuizen’s paintings, for example in The Judgement of Paris, but also in this crucifixion scene from 1965.

A crucifixion painting often marked the start of a new style period in Hofhuizen's work. It provided him with an opportunity for introspection and renewal.

Crucifixion 1965