BELLINI, Giovanni
(b. ca. 1426, Venezia, d. 1516, Venezia)

The Lamentation over the Body of Christ

c. 1500
Tempera on wood, 73 x 119 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Bellini and his workshop executed several variants of the subject Lamentation over the Dead Christ.The rare chiaroscuro of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, a gift made by Alvise Mocenigo to the Grand-duke of Tuscany is one of them. This is a more crowded composition than the previous "imago pietatis", in which the very isolation of the figures becomes a diaphragm that separates the spectator from the drama. Here the prominent knees of Christ, and his abrupt foreshortening sharply break this ideal wall and bring the sacred group closer to, and therefore in more immediate communication with, those worshipping.

Painted in grisaille and, notwithstanding the contrary opinion of some, to be considered as a finished work.