• Cross with the Crucified Christ

    Artist:
    Ugolino di Tedice, active 1260s-1270s
    Technique:
    tempera
    Dimensions:
    90x62 cm

Ugolino di Tedice, active 1260s-1270s

Cross with the Crucified Christ

Italy, circa 1270

At the 13th century Italian art was still entirely mediaeval with its stylized depictions and the dominance of the idea over the visual image. Yet at the same time it is already possible to detect within it the first shoots of a new view of the world and it is not for nothing that this period is known as the Proto-Renaissance. Painted crosses were a traditional element of religious processions. They became common in Italy in the 13th century under the influence of Byzantine icon-painting. Following the adoption of Christianity, a spirit of asceticism took hold in Byzantine art: all attention was devoted to the heavenly world and the bodily element was rejected in favour of the spiritual. For that purpose, strict canons or rules for depictions became established that then remained almost unchanged over many centuries. In the centre of the composition of the Crucifixion was the figure of Christ nailed to a cross at the top of which there was a sign reading “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”. At the ends of the arms of the Cross are the sorrowing Virgin Mary and Jesus’ favourite disciple, the apostle John, both of whom, the Gospel tells us, were present at Golgotha during Christ’s execution. Following the Byzantine scheme, Ugolino di Tedice, produced an image of a dying martyred Christ. The inaccurate proportions of the tortured body, the Saviour’s suffering countenance and the wound from which blood flows in narrow trickles possess enormous emotional power and eloquence. The combination of black, olive green and red tones underline the tense, tragic mood of the work.

School:

Title:

Cross with the Crucified Christ

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

tempera

Dimensions:

90x62 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1926; handed over from the Counts Stroganov collection

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-4167

Category:

Collection:

User collections including this work of art: