FERRARI, Gaudenzio
(b. ca. 1475, Valduggia, d. 1546, Milano)

The Crucifixion of Christ

Sculptures and fresco
Cappella della Crocefissione, Sacro Monte, near Varallo

On Sacro Monte sites of the Holy Land had been recreated in scenic groups of sculptures in chapels from the late fifteenth century onward to provide the faithful with experience of an imaginary pilgrimage. Ferrari's Journey of the Three Kings and Crucifixion of Christ date from the 1520s. The Crucifixion assembles, against a painted stage, a dense group of figures to which his painting lends a sculptural liveliness. The mounted good centurion, for example, who is holding up his club in front of the cross, has a precise pendant in Ferrari's Crucifixion in the Cappella della Maddalena in San Cristoforo, Vercelli.