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Jacopo di Cione, The Crucifixion

Key facts
Full title The Crucifixion
Artist Jacopo di Cione
Artist dates documented 1365; died 1398 -1400
Date made about 1369-70
Medium and support Egg tempera on wood
Dimensions 154 × 138.5 cm
Inscription summary Inscribed
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by the Revd Jarvis Holland Ash, 1896
Inventory number NG1468
Location Gallery F
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Crucifixion
Jacopo di Cione

This picture is unusual in Italian painting of this period in showing so much detail from the Gospel accounts of Christ’s crucifixion in one relatively small panel. Such images were usually reserved for large wall paintings. Christ is shown on the Cross between the two thieves who were crucified with him. Below, the Virgin Mary collapsing in grief is supported by Mary Magdalene, recognisable by her red robes and long red hair. Saint John the Evangelist stands slightly apart from them, raising his hand to his face in grief.

Saints Benedict and Bernard, the founders of the Cistercian Order, flank the Virgin and Child in the roundels below the main scene. The prominent position of women in the scene – particularly Mary Magdalene – and the inclusion of two female saints in the roundels indicates that the original location may have been a nunnery. This was possibly Santa Maria Maddalena di Cestello, the Cistercian nunnery dedicated to Mary Magdalene in Florence.

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