Artist: Fra Angelico (Guido di Pietro) (Italian, Vicchio di Mugello ca. 1395–1455 Rome)
Date: ca. 1420–23
Medium: Tempera on wood, gold ground
Dimensions: 25 1/8 x 19 in. (63.8 x 48.3 cm)
Credit Line: Maitland F. Griggs Collection, Bequest of Maitland F. Griggs, 1943
Accession Number: 43.98.5
Dating some eighty years after Pietro Lorenzetti’s Crucifixion (on view nearby), this exquisitely rendered painting further accentuates the drama of the scene by exaggerating the poses of the Virgin, now collapsed in grief, and the lamenting Marys, as well as the varied attitudes of the Roman soldiers and their horses. But the medium of tempera painting could not begin to approximate the sense of realism that Van Eyck achieved in his figures, especially their expressions, and naturalistic settings through his singular technical skill in oil painting.