(b. 1423, Castagno, d. 1457, Firenze)

Resurrection (detail)

Sant'Apollonia, Florence

The scene that has been most highly praised, and which is probably the best preserved, is the Resurrection, originally the first to the left. Here, Christ rises up with the monumentality and the solidity of a statue, only slightly mellowed by his melancholy expression and the pale, soft daylight surrounding him. Below him, a group of soldiers lie sound asleep; only one of them has just woken up and observes the incredible event with his mouth open. His features are almost deformed by a blackish shading which makes the modelling hard and sharpedged.

The obvious analogies between this fresco and the same subject painted several years later by Piero della Francesca in Borgo San Sepolcro has been the object of many critical studies. The simplicity and the perfect perspective composition of the fresco in Sant'Apollonia is considered by some scholars an anticipation of the art of Piero, whereas others think that it is rather a reflection of it.