(b. ca. 1400, Vicchio nell Mugello, d. 1455, Roma)
Crucifixion with Mourners and Sts Dominic and Thomas Aquinas (Cell 37)1441-42
Fresco, 213 x 165 cm
Convento di San Marco, Florence
This is the fresco on the wall of Cell 37 of the Convento di San Marco in Florence.
The Crucifixion is depicted in seven cells in the corridor for lay brothers. While the friars and novices may have been moved to prayer at the thought or sight of the crucified Christ, the lay brothers required more direction in imagining the Passion. By incorporating more narrative elements, these images were able to prompt their devotion more efficaciously. In six cells Fra Angelico included the grieving Virgin and other mourners along with St Dominic or Peter martyr to cue the beholder's response. So it was in Cell 37, the large size of which suggests it may have served as the Chapter Room for the lay brothers as they met each day under the guidance of their own prior.
The contribution of an assistant can be assumed in the execution of this fresco.