Longstaff, John (1861-1941; Australian), after Titian (1487/90-1576; Italian)
Entombment of Christ (c.1888)
Oil on canvas, 146.5 x 212.5
Presented by the artist under the terms of the NGV Travelling Scholarship, 1889
National Gallery of Victoria (p.314/6-1)

Titian’s Louvre painting, admired by many in the 19th century, including both Turner and Ruskin, was copied by Longstaff in partial fulfillment of his obligations as the recipient of the inaugural Travelling Scholarship in 1887.

Although this copy received high praise in both Paris and Melbourne at the time, technical deficiencies have become apparent since, and the work is now in poor condition, displaying widespread cracking of the paint surface.

See also linked artist entry and separate entries for further works produced by Longstaff under the terms of his NGV scholarship.

See also Rousselet after Titian Entombment {1879} NGV [PR], for a 17th-century engraving after Titian’s painting (from Louis XIV’s Cabinet du roi).


AR 1889, p.44; NGV 1894, p.124 (V.Buvelot Gallery, 7th bay, no.14); NGV 1905, p.139 (V.Buvelot Gallery, 6th bay, no.3) 

For the present work, see Merryn Gates (ed.), re: Creation / Recreation, Monash University Gallery, 1989, cat.no.20, fig.28, and pp.5, 21-22 (Karen Roe, quoting both initial and later comments on Longstaff’s copy), and 23-24 (John Payne: “Why has the Longstaff cracked?”)

Titian’s painting (Paris, Louvre, Inv.749; 148 x 212 cm), is dated to c.1520 (Louvre) or c.1526-32 (Wethey). Turner made fulsome notes, and a sketch of it, in an 1802 notebook held in the Tate Gallery (Turner Bequest LXXII 31a and 32): see http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/turner-commentary-on-titians-entombment-of-the-dead-christ-inscription-by-turner-d04314; http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/turner-the-entombment-of-the-dead-christ-after-titian-d04315. Ruskin also praised it, and owned a watercolour copy of it: see http://www.ruskinatwalkley.org/object.php?hotspots=on&room=2&object=20