SIMONE MARTINI
(b. 1280/85, Siena, d. 1344, Avignon)

Deposition

1333
Tempera on wood, 24,5 x 15,5 cm
Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp

The altarpiece known as Passion Polyptych (or Orsini Polyptych), with panels now in a number of European museums (Angel of the Annunciation and Virgin of Annunciation, as well as Crucifixion and Deposition in Antwerp, the Road to Calvary in Paris and the Entombment in Berlin) is signed "Pinxit Symon" on the two panels of the Crucifixion and the Deposition. It presents several problems, both in terms of stylistic analysis and dating.

Some scholars, stressing the fact that it is so different stylistically from all the other works of Simone's Avignon period (nervous lines and expressions), think that it may have been painted earlier and then transported to France; others believe that it may be a late work, commissioned by Napoleone Orsini, who died in the Curia in Avignon in 1342. Orsini's coat-of-arms appears in the background of the Road to Calvary. The polyptych was probably transferred to the charterhouse of Champmol, near Dijon, in the late 14th century.