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

Deposition (scene 21)

1308-11
Tempera on wood, 51 x 54 cm
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Siena

The picture shows one of the 26 narrative scenes from the Stories of the Passion on the reverse side of the Maestà. It is situated in the upper row on the right side below the scene of the Entombment.

The Deposition, with the same gold background as the Crucifixion (excluding any possibility of distraction), is represented as intense embracing. Joseph of Arimathaea and John support the lifeless body, while Nicodemus removes the nails from the feet and the Virgin reaches out yearningly to her son, looking into his closed eyes. One of the Marys holds Christ's arm to her face, while the others, their hands covered by their veils, are tragic masks of grief. The little stream of blood under the cross, also present in the previous scene, has a dramatic realism.