The Crucifixion

The Crucifixion
1454–69
Oil and tempera with gold on panel
14 2/3 x 15 6/7 in. (37.2 x 40.3 cm)
The Frick Collection, New York

The Crucifixion is set in a landscape beneath a golden sky. Christ’s body, nailed to the cross, towers over the crowd. At right, young John the Evangelist approaches the Redeemer with hands clasped, crying out in sorrow. To the left of the cross, the Virgin swoons in grief. At its base, three soldiers gamble for Christ’s robes. This painting is the sole surviving fragment from the predella, the altarpiece’s horizontal base, which depicted other scenes from Christ’s Passion (now lost). Originally wider, The Crucifixion was trimmed at both sides, probably when the altarpiece was dismantled.