Insider tips from Basel: top events, competitions and special offers

Sign up now

This unique portrayal of humanity still shocks.

The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb, Hans Holbein the Younger, 1522, Kunstmuseum Basel

This is arguably one of the most impressive masterpieces in the Kunstmuseum: the artist's unflinchingly realistic depiction of the dead man's wounds, his open mouth and the rigor mortis of the body remains unique in the history of art. The confrontation is immense and unprecedented; not only is the observer confronted with the sight of a rotting corpse, but also with the Son of God having died as a human being. The format of the work is also unusual as it depicts Jesus Christ close up and life sized, laid out in his tomb.

The painting was commissioned by Basel citizen Bonifacius Amerbach, whose substantial collection of art later formed the basis of the Basel Public Art Collection.

Christus-im-Grab_Holbein_WEB