Master of Saint Veronica (artist)|
German, active c. 1395/1420
The Crucifixion, c. 1400/1410
tempera on panel
overall (design area): 40.7 x 25.2 cm (16 x 9 15/16 in.) support: 46.2 x 31.1 cm (18 3/16 x 12 1/4 in.) framed: 58.1 x 43.8 x 4.4 cm (22 7/8 x 17 1/4 x 1 3/4 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
Object 2 of 8
With Mary and John the Evangelist at the Crucifixion are a Roman centurion and a Carthusian monk. Although not a portrait, this figure is probably meant to represent the monk who used the panel for private devotion in his own cell. The Carthusians emphasized solitary contemplation, and this scene makes concrete the type of vision such contemplation hoped to achieve: transporting the worshiper to the site of the Crucifixion to witness firsthand the human suffering of Christ's sacrifice. Angels, who collect Jesus' blood in chalices, offer hope of man's salvation through the mass and eucharist.
The gentle lyricism and decorative elegance of this work are in keeping with the International Style. The delicate coloring—notice the shot pinks, vermilion, and mauve in Saint John's robe—was produced with tempera, a medium soon to be replaced by oil paints. The artist remains anonymous even though he directed an important workshop in the rich and active commercial center of Cologne. The stillness and intensity of his images exerted a great influence on other German painters.
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