Art historian Lorne Campbell has identified the figures in the painting as (from left to right): Mary Cleophas (half-sister to the Virgin Mary); John the Evangelist, Mary Salome (in green, another half-sister of the Virgin Mary), The Virgin Mary (swooning), the corpse of Jesus Christ, Nicodemus (in red), a young man on the ladder – either a servant of Nicodemus or of Joseph of Arimathea, Joseph of Arimathea (in field-of-cloth-of-gold robes, the most sumptuous costume in the painting), the bearded man behind Joseph holding a jar and probably another servant and Mary Magdalene who adopts a dramatic pose on the right of the painting. There is disagreement between art historians as to the representation of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. Dirk de Vos identifies Joseph of Arimathea as the man in red supporting Christ's body, and Nicodemus as the sumptuously dressed man supporting Christ's legs, the opposite of Campbell's identification. Deposition
. Rogier van der Weyden depicts the moment when Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus and another person hold Jesus' body and Mary faints into the arms of Saint John the Evangelist and the holy women. The large-dimensioned figures are all dressed with precious materials. The blue color used in Mary's robe is a pure lapis lazuli rarely found in the Southern Netherlandish paintings of this period.