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Raphael, The Mond Crucifixion

Key facts
Full title The Crucified Christ with the Virgin Mary, Saints and Angels (The Mond Crucifixion)
Artist Raphael
Artist dates 1483 - 1520
Date made about 1502-3
Medium and support Oil on poplar
Dimensions 283.3 × 167.3 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Inscribed
Acquisition credit Mond Bequest, 1924
Inventory number NG3943
Location Room 11
Collection Main Collection
The Mond Crucifixion

One of Raphael’s earliest works, this altarpiece was commissioned by the wool merchant and banker Domenico Gavari for his burial chapel dedicated to Saint Jerome in the church of S. Domenico in Città di Castello, Umbria.

Christ’s body hangs from the Cross. Two angels balance on delicate slivers of cloud on either side, catching the blood that flows from his wounds in golden chalices reminiscent of those in which wine would be served during Mass at the altar below.

The sun and moon are both visible in the sky, marking the eclipse that coincided with Christ’s death. Saint Jerome and Mary Magdalene are at the foot of the Cross, gazing up at Christ’s body with reverence and pity. The Virgin, dressed in purplish black to denote mourning, stands to the left of the Cross with John the Evangelist to the right. They both look towards the viewer and wring their hands in grief.

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