Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Title: Calvary

Artist: Ugolino-Lorenzetti

Medium: Tempera on panel

Size: 91.5 x 55.5 cm

Date: 1340-60

Location: The Hermitage, St. Petersburg.

Calvary, or Golgotha, is the hill in Jerusalem that was the site of Jesus' Crucifixion. The hill was outside the Old City walls of Jerusalem and near the sepulcher where Jesus was said to have been afterward interred. Details of the event are recorded in John 19:25-27 “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Dear woman, here is your son,’ and to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”

This painting captures these events in John. In the left group we can identify the Virgin Mary, falling senseless into the hands of Mary Magdalene and John the Evangelist. To the right is the Roman centurion, who came to believe in Christ. In the elongated proportions of the figures, in the artist's attempt to convey the emotional state of his characters, one can feel the influence of Gothic art. The artist used the traditional gold background and "reverse perspective", by which the figures present at Christ's execution are portrayed as a single mass extending vertically, their heads one above the other. At the same time he sought to convey the depth of space by showing the figures at the foot of the cross just half the size of those in the foreground.

Ugolino Lorenzetti (or Ugolino-Lorenzetti) is an invented name for an unknown artist midway between the styles of Ugolino da Siena and the Lorenzetti. Also known as the Ovile Master (Maestro di San Pietro Ovile), he has been tentatively identified with Bartolommeo Bulgarini (active c. 1347-d. 1378) who is known to have been a painter. Ugolino-Lorenzetti is a name invented to cover a group of stylistically similar works, which are marked by a more gentle Byzantine style.

No comments:

Post a Comment