The Crucifixion

Fra Angelico (Guido di Pietro) Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 603

This early work by Fra Angelico, likely made for private devotion, accentuates the drama of Christ’s Crucifixion. In the foreground the Virgin collapses in grief, surrounded by the lamenting Mary Magdalen and Mary of Cleofas. Behind them, a band of Roman soldiers and their horses stand watch around the cross. Some men focus their gazes on Christ, while others exchange glances. The innovative circular composition was inspired by the bronze doors created by Lorenzo Ghiberti for the Baptistry of Florence. In its focus on spatial effects and convincing human emotion, this painting provides evidence of what would become Fra Angelico’s trademarks.

The Crucifixion, Fra Angelico (Guido di Pietro) (Italian, Vicchio di Mugello ca. 1395–1455 Rome), Tempera on wood, gold ground

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