Crucifixion – Florence

The large fresco for the Chapter Room of the Cistercian convent of Cestello was originally commissioned to Perugino by Dionigi and Giovanna Pucci; the work was completed in 1496.

The Carmelite nuns of Santa Maria degli Angeli in San Frediano then settled in the place, “hiding” the fresco in their cloistered convent until 1867, when they left.
The scene is painted on the entire back wall of the Hall, where painted architectural elements are mixed with the real ones where the vaults rest, creating three arches: Perugino reversed the usual solution of having the open porch as a background, thus the loggia in the foreground introduces the scene, divided into three parts by two figures each. In the central arch, a large cross sustains Jesus’s dead body, while Mary Magdalene is kneeling at his feet, praying; on the left the Virgin and Saint Bernard are attending while on the opposite side Saint John the Baptist and Saint Benedict are grieving. In the countryside background some soft and rocky hills, with some little lakes, anticipate the style that Perugino will develop for the Collegio del Cambio.
The fresco is preserved at the former convent of Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi in Florence.
Perugino, Crucifixion, 1496, fresco, 812 x 480, Florence, Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi
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