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Pere García de Benavarri, 'The Crucifixion', about 1450-60

Key facts
Full title The Crucifixion
Artist Pere García de Benavarri
Artist dates documented 1445 - 1485
Date made about 1450-60
Medium and support Egg on pine
Dimensions 43 × 102.5 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Sir Ronald Storrs, 1964
Inventory number NG6360
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Crucifixion
Pere García de Benavarri

Christ hangs on the Cross, emaciated, blood dripping from the wounds in his hands, feet and side. His head is slumped in death, his face pale. His followers sit on the ground around him, inconsolable. Christ’s mother, the Virgin Mary, has collapsed in her grief.

This panel once formed the pinnacle of a large polyptych (multi-panelled altarpiece) made for the small church of Saint Martin at Riglos, north-eastern Spain. Until recently the painting was attributed to the anonymous Master of Riglos, named after the altarpiece, but its style comes close to works by Pere García de Benavarri. García is thought to have trained with Blasco de Grañén (documented 1422–1459), the artist who painted the main panel of the Riglos altarpiece (today in the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona).

Spanish polyptychs at this date often took the form of a large central panel, showing the saint to whom the church was dedicated, surrounded by smaller panels and topped with an image of the Crucifixion. They often had very elaborate gilded frames.

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