The Descent from the Cross (Fiorentino)

The Descent from the Cross (Fiorentino)

Artist Rosso Fiorentino

Date 1521

Movement Late Renaissance

Medium Oil on panel

Dimensions 13′ x 6’6″

Housed at Chapel of the Compagnia della Croce di Giorno in the church of San Francisco in Volterra Pinacoteca Comunale, Volterra


Commissioned by The Company of the Cross of the Day in the Tuscan city of Volterra, a sect of Catholic flagellants. Rosso recalls the abstract and subdued qualities of Masaccio’s work in the Brancacci Chapel, and is also sure to incorporate the dynamic poses that his contemporaries would have included. Unlike Masaccio, however, Rosso’s figures appear to be on the same frontal plane; this, coupled with the plain, drab backdrop, helps to lend a rather austere mood to the piece that is typical of many works from the Mannerist movement.