DUCCIO di Buoninsegna
(b. ca. 1255, Siena, d. 1319, Siena)

Crucifixion (detail)

Tempera on wood
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena

The slender, emaciated body of Christ hangs down heavily from the crossbeam on the Cross. Duccio has structured individual physical forms in a three-dimensional manner, by applying subtle colour modelling.. We can see Christ's ribs standing out beneath his skin, and his navel sinking into his stomach-muscles. The sorrowing angels depicted above the cross offer us convincing evidence of the range of expressive gestures which were at Duccio's disposal. The spectrum ranges from raised arms, through hands which cover eyes, to the tearing of clothes.

The fine modelling of the figure of Christ is reminiscent of the plasticism of Gothic ivories.