The picture is one of the options for developing the evangelical theme “Crucifixion”, over which the artist worked in the last years of his life.
In the center of the unfinished picture of Golgotha is Christ and two robbers. The Son of God closed his eyes in despair, threw back his head. To his left from Him is an unrepentant criminal with bound hands, eyes wide with terror, half-open mouth.
On the right is a young, repenting robber, sadly turned away. All the figures on the canvas are immovable. Widespread strokes painted the purple clothes of Christ and the dark yellow – the repentant robber, the white flat top of Calvary, the blue shadows.
He was often reproached for neglecting the form: he abused contrasts of colors, light and shadow. Perhaps it was the search for a new form that could express the passion that led the artist: “I will shake all their brains with the suffering of Christ… I will make them cry, not be moved…”.
However, the idea that inspired Ge was moral, not religious. He, according to AN Benois, saw Christ “as a direct preacher of human morality, dying at the hands of bad people and giving people an example of how to suffer and die, rather than a prophet and God.” Until the end of his life, Nicholas Ge was inspired by the hope that with the help of art a person can see, and the world can correct.