(b. 1445, Firenze, d. 1510, Firenze)


c. 1497
Tempera on canvas, 73,5 x 50,8 cm
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge

This severely damaged painting is an expression of the fears that arose as the new century came closer. Behind the Cross, in the dark clouds, are devils throwing flames. At the top left. God has sent out angels in order to protect the city of Florence. Repentance will be needed in order to procure salvation, as is made clear by the figure of Mary Magdalene at the bottom of the Cross.

The city of Florence may be seen in the background, spread out in bright light under a clear sky. Within the city walls, the dome of the Cathedral, the Campanile, the Baptistery and the Palazzo Vecchio - the seat of government - to name but a few buildings, are readily recognizable.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 22 minutes):
Heinrich Schütz: Die sieben Worte am Kreuz SWV 478