ANTONELLO da Messina
(b. ca. 1430, Messina, d 1479, Messina)
Tempera and oil on panel, 39 x 23 cm
Muzeul National Brukenthal, Sibiu
In the nineteenth century, this painting was believed to be by a fourteenth-century German painter. However, since 1902 the attribution to Antonello da Messina is universally accepted, and the panel is considered to be an early masterpiece of the artist. It is the earliest work in a stylistically related series on the subject of the Crucifixion, continued by the versions in London and Antwerp. In the version at Sibiu, Antonello portrays the landscape behind the Crucifixion - the city and the Strait of Messina - from a bird's eye view, from an almost topographical perspective.