Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Crucifixion

Francesco Granacci (Francesco di Andrea di Marco) (Italian, Villamagna 1469–1543 Florence)
ca. 1510
Tempera and gold on wood
Central panel 19 x 11 1/2 in. (48.3 x 29.2 cm); each wing 19 x 6 in. (48.3 x 15.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Nancy, Carolina, and Isabelle Richardson, and Purchase, Friends of European Paintings Gifts, 2006
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 609
Painted around 1500–1510, this exquisite triptych was intended for private devotion (an old inventory label on the back indicates that at one time it belonged to the Stiozzi Ridolfi family). When closed, it could be easily transported. When opened, it offered three scenes for meditation relating to death, resurrection, and the Last Judgment (note how one of the resurrected figures in the Last Judgment looks directly out at the viewer). Although the figure scale is not consistent, the northern-inspired landscape is continuous in all three panels. The scene of the Last Judgment, in which Christ indicates the wound in his side and the Virgin pleads prayerfully to him, recalls a celebrated fresco by Fra Bartolomeo (Museo di San Marco, Florence) and the strongly devotional quality of this picture may owe something to the impact of Savonarola. The superscription at the top of the cross, reading Jesus Christ King of the Jews, is rendered in beautiful Hebrew, Greek, and Latin letters.
Stiozzi-Ridolfi family, Florence (inv., n.d., no. 129, as by School of Perugino; ?inv., n.d. [mid-nineteenth century], no. 9); [Piero Corsini, New York, by 1983–89; sold to Richardson]; Mr. and Mrs. Frank E. Richardson III, New York (1989–96); Nancy Richardson, New York (1996–2006; sale, Christie's, New York, January 29, 1998, no. 103, bought in)
New York. Piero Corsini, Inc. "Italian Old Master Paintings: Fourteenth to Eighteenth Century," November 17–December 8, 1984, no. 9 (as "The Crucifixion; The Resurrection; The Last Judgment," by Francesco Granacci).

University Park, Pa. Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University. "Italian Renaissance Art: Selections from the Piero Corsini Gallery," January 25–March 8, 1987, no. 6 (as "Triptych with Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Last Judgment").

Williamsburg, Va. Joseph and Margaret Muscarelle Museum of Art, College of William and Mary. "Italian Renaissance Art: Selections from the Piero Corsini Gallery," April 18–June 7, 1987, no. 6.

Springfield, Mass. Springfield Museum of Fine Arts. "Italian Renaissance Art: Selections from the Piero Corsini Gallery," June 28–September 13, 1987, no. 6.

Inventario antico della Nobil. Casa Stiozzi Ridolfi. n.d., no. 129, as "un quadro in tavola, diviso in terzo largo Braccia una, alto cinque sesti esprimente un Crocifisso ed altri Santi della Scuola del Perugino".

Inventario di una Raccolta di Quadri esistenti in Casa Strozzi [sic] Ridolfi. n.d. [mid-nineteenth century], no. 9 [Soprintendenza alle Gallerie, Florence, Ms. Inv. Nr. 68/221, fascicolo 12; see Holst 1974; Getty no. I-472], as "Un Crocifisso con vari Santi. Del Granacci," possibly this picture.

Christian von Holst. Francesco Granacci. Munich, 1974, p. 160, under no. 55, p. 175, no. 97, records among lost works by Granacci a Crucifixion included as no. 9 in a mid-nineteenth-century unpublished inventory of the Palazzo Strozzi [sic] Ridolfi, Florence, tentatively identifying it with a work in the Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt (inv. no. Gk 93), but possibly this picture.

Piero Corsini. Italian Old Master Paintings: Fourteenth to Eighteenth Century. Exh. cat., Piero Corsini, Inc. New York, 1984, pp. 22–23, no. 9, ill. (color), attributes it to Francesco Granacci and dates it soon after the artist's return to Florence from Rome in 1508; relates it to Granacci's "Birth of Saint John the Baptist" (MMA and Cleveland Museum of Art), "probably painted shortly before 1510"; mentions that the figures are reminiscent of Michelangelo's youthful style and that the trees and lighting are influenced by late Quattrocento Florentine painting.

Barbara Wollesen-Wisch. Italian Renaissance Art: Selections from the Piero Corsini Gallery. Exh. cat., Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University. [University Park, Pa.], 1986, pp. 4, 24–25, no. 6, ill. (color), dates it shortly before 1510; states that the provenance is unknown; sees the influence of Perugino in the composition, figure types, and color.

Important Old Master Paintings. Christie's, New York. January 29, 1998, pp. 140–41, no. 103, ill. (color), dates it shortly after 1501 based on style and notes that it must have been commissioned for private devotion; suggests that the detail of "St. Michael the Archangel stand[ing] between a kneeling Cardinal, presented by an angel, and a naked soul, coveted by Satan," seen in the middle ground of the right wing, may provide a clue to the identity of the person who commissioned the work, and that the inscription on the cross indicates "a wealthy and learned individual"; discusses the influence of Perugino and Fra Bartolomeo; identifies the Stiozzi-Ridolfi inventory recorded on a label on the back of the painting with the one noted by Holst (1974).

Important Old Master Paintings: Part I. Christie's, New York. April 6, 2006, p. 96, under no. 36, citing Everett Fahy, includes it among examples of paintings produced in Florence in the early sixteenth century whose archaizing compositions are characteristic of works produced for Savonarolan sympathizers.

Everett Fahy in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2006–2007." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 65 (Fall 2007), p. 19, ill. (color).

Charlotte Hale, Julie Arslanoglu, and Silvia A. Centeno. "Granacci in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Aspects of Evolving Workshop Practice." Studying Old Master Paintings: Technology and Practice. London, 2011, pp. 62, 64 n. 7, fig. 6 (color), date it 1500–1510.

Alessandro Nesi in The Alana Collection. Ed. Sonia Chiodo and Serena Padovani. Vol. 3, Italian Paintings from the 14th to 16th Century. Florence, 2014, p. 109 n. 6.

The frame is from Florence and dates to about 1500–1510 (see Additional Images, figs. 1–2). This elegant molding is made of poplar and water gilded on a dark red bole. The simple ogee at the sight edge rises to a flat fillet. The center molding profile is slightly larger than that found on the wings, a typical design and a subtle means of weighing the viewer’s focus back to the center image. Removed at some time to be regessoed and regilded, the frame nevertheless retains its original rattail hinges and is original to the triptych.

[Timothy Newbery with Cynthia Moyer 2017; further information on this frame can be found in the Department of European Paintings files]
This portable triptych was intended for private devotion and depicts the Crucifixion in the center flanked by the Resurrection on the left and the Last Judgment on the right.
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