(b. 1445, Firenze, d. 1510, Firenze)
Lamentation over the Dead Christ with Saintsc. 1490
Tempera on panel, 140 x 207 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich
The stylistic changes in Botticelli's late work are especially striking in the two paintings of the Lamentation over the Dead Christ (in Munich and Milan). Botticelli was reacting in these pictures to the new religious sensibility in Florence.
The dead Christ is lying lifelessly on a fine cloth in his mother's lap, and she has fallen back in a swoon against the shoulders of his favourite disciple, John. The two Marys are gently supporting the head and feet of the crucified man. Mary Magdalene is fearfully and sorrowfully gazing at the crucifixion nails. St Jerome, St Paul and St Peter are observing the moving scene. The fervent gestures and postures of the figures express their grief at the death of Christ - a religious emotion intended to include the observer.
Originally the painting was in the church of San Paolino in Florence. After restoring in the Galleria degli Uffizi in 1813 it was purchased by the King of Bavaria.