Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Title: Crucifixion
Artist: Andrea da Firenze

Medium: Tempera on wood
Size: 33 x 22 cm

Date: 1377

Location: Pinacoteca, Vatican

As Jesus hung near death on the cross he was aware that he had finished his work. He exclaimed “Everything is done!” then bowed his head and died. In order to ensure he was truly dead, as described in John 19:30: “One of the soldiers with a spear did pierce his side, and immediately there came forth blood and water.”

In the centre of the small panel Christ hangs on the cross, his head slumped onto his right shoulder showing the marks from the crown of thorns. Blood oozes from his wounds, and spurts from the gash caused by the spear. Mary stands to the left, her hands joined in a mournful gesture, gazing at her son. Saint John the Evangelist is at the right, his hands joined in front of his chest, looking toward Christ with sorrow and disbelief. A Dominican friar kneels at the foot of the cross, embracing it, while two angels at either side of the cross also mourn.

Andrea da Firenze was a Florentine painter about who little is known. The earliest paintings that can be attributed to him suggest that he must have formed a close association with the workshop of Andrea di Cione. Da Firenze is remembered mainly for his frescoes in the Spanish Chapel of Sta Maria Novella, Florence. He last recorded in 1377 working on frescoes of the Life of St Raynerius in the Campo Santo at Pisa.

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