Christ with the Cross is a transitional work, painted between the two Annunciations in our collection. It therefore dates from a period when El Greco was searching for the distinctive style that would come to characterise his works.
The reddish grounds undoubtedly hark back to his early years in Italy. He outlines the anatomy of the figure and pays painstaking attention to the hair, highlighting it with golden tones in a conventional and as-yet academic manner.
However, the face is rendered with whitish, almost transparent strokes that allow the darker layers to show through and create colour contrasts and chiaroscuro effects. The simplified, loose brushwork in this area, where the drawing has been lost, lend the work a quasi-expressionistic quality.