Francesco Granacci (Francesco di Andrea di Marco) (Italian, 1469–1543)
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)
Gift of Nancy, Carolina and Isabelle Richardson, and Purchase, Friends of European Paintings Gifts, 2006 (2006.409)
Francesco Granacci is best known today as a lifelong friend of Michelangelo, his junior by six years. Trained together in the workshop of Domenico Ghirlandaio, they both were affected by Girolamo Savonarola, the religious reformer whose fiery sermons called for a regeneration of moral values in Florentine life. The very format of this portable triptych is a retardataire throwback to a type of painting popular in Tuscany a hundred years earlier. The images are of an intense devotional character, with the Crucifixion scene in the center reduced to the solitary figures of the Virgin and Saint John standing beneath the cross in a rolling landscape that continues into the shutters, where Christ reappears as a diminutive figure in the Resurrection and the Last Judgment.