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

Deposition from the Cross (detail)

Tempera on panel
Museo di San Marco, Florence

Kneeling in the foreground of the picture is a Beato. He echoes the Magdalen in his position, pose and red gown. A foreshortened arm extends out towards the viewer, drawing us into the scene before us. It has been suggested that this figure is Alessio degli Strozzi, the dead son of the family whose patronage brought about the creation of the work. Behind him are five men, standing further forward in the picture plane than the women on the other side whom they balance. Like the women each is contemplative, reticent and mournful. One displays to the others some of the instruments of crucifixion: three gruesomely large nails with heavy drips of blood on them, and the neatly woven circlet of thorns whose perforations can be seen on Christ's brow. Beneath their feet, indicative of Angelico's enjoyment of the portrayal of nature, is the richly leafed and flowered turf which is common to so many of his paintings.