Images of the Crucifixion follow a common pattern, presenting Christ on the cross in the center, the mourning figures of mother Mary to the left, and Saint John the Evangelist to the right. This composition, though typical in composition, amplifies the sense of tragedy by the use of exaggerated gestures and bodily deformation. Christ's gaunt, elongated arms, sunken eyes, and shallow chest all emphisize the unspeakable physical abuse that he has endured. The anguished Saint John clasps his hands together in despair, his elbows raised almost to the level of his shoulders. The Mourning Virgin offers an interesting contrast to the figure of Saint John. She appears to be too exhausted by her ordeal for emphatic gestures; her arms are extended before her, but her hands hang almost limp. Her oversized eyes are full of sorrow as she looks upward, powerless to help her dying Son. In the lower half of the background, a town is visible in the distance, nestled among the hills.
Berenson, 'Pitture Italiane del Rinasciment,' p. 337.
Attributed to Niccolo by L. Venturi, ..i, Perkins (first manner), Berenson (studio). date c. 1470 in Cat. NGA, 1941 on the basis of ..larity to Karlsruhe Crucifixion, signed and d 1468.
Platt Collection, Englewood, New Jersey
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