(b. ca. 1400, Vicchio nell Mugello, d. 1455, Roma)

Deposition from the Cross (detail)

Tempera on panel
Museo di San Marco, Florence

Angelico stops short of portraying the figures lamenting Christ's death in the agonies of grief; instead he shows them in languorous contemplation of their inner sorrow. Mary Magdalen kneels before Christ, taking his feet in her hands and kissing them. The Virgin kneels, her hands clasped, head on one side in reflective misery, with an air of particular detachment. She is partly screened from the viewer by the winding sheet held before her. The other holy women stand in positions of contemplation or prayer; one wipes a tear from her eye. As in earlier paintings by Angelico, the sense of the space in which the Virgin kneels is created by placing figures in a circle around her. In the background the road begins to wind its way up to Jerusalem.