The Disrobing of Christ is a painting begun in the summer 1577 and completed in the spring in 1579 for the High Altar of the Sacristy in the Cathedral of Toledo, where it still hangs.

The painting shows Christ looking up to Heaven with an expression of serenity, we can also see His idealized figure seems segregated from the other people and from the violence that surrounds him.

A figure dressed in black in the background points at Christ accusingly, while two others argue over who will have His garments.

 

We can also see a man in green at Christ´s left, who holds Him firmly with a rope and is about to rip off His robe in preparation for His crucifixion.

At the lower right side, a man in yellow bends over the cross and drills a hole to facilitate the insertion of a nail to be driven through Christ feet.

 

 

The radiant face of the Savior is violently juxtaposed to the coarse figures of the executioners, who are amassed around Him, creating an impression of disturbance with their movements, gestures and lances.

Christ is clad, in a bright red robe, it is on this red tunic that El Greco concentrated the full expressive force of his art.

 

In the left foreground, the Three Marys (Virgin Mary, María Magdalena and María Cleofás) contemplate the scene with distress. Their presence was objected by the Cathedral authorities, since they are not mentioned as present at this point in the Gospels.

In design the composition vertically and compactly in the foreground El Greco seems to have been motivated by the desire to show the oppression of Christ by his cruel tormentors.

 

The figure of Christ, robust, tall and tranquil, dominates the center of the composition which is built vertically, like a wall.

The painting was not been earned until two years later, December 8th 1581, finally the Cathedral payed 350 ducats in spite of the 900 ducats asked for the evaluators named by El Greco. Cabildo´s agents offered a lower quantity, 228 ducats, after a long lawsuit this quantity was accepted by El Greco.