The Crucifixion

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)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Maitland F. Griggs Collection, Bequest of Maitland F. Griggs, 1943

Accession Number: 43.98.5


Dating from the very early 1420s, this exquisitely painted work has gained broad consensus as an early work by Fra Angelico—one of the presiding figures of Renaissance art. It is a work of astonishing invention: the circle of Roman soldiers and their horses, each posed differently; Christ’s mother, who has fainted; her grieving companions (one in a strongly foreshortened pose); and the figure of Christ, which derives from a famous carved Crucifix by the sculptor-architect Brunelleschi. It was probably intended for private devotion.