GHERARDUCCI, Don Silvestro dei
(b. 1339, Firenze, d. 1399, Firenze)

The Crucifixion

c. 1365
Tempera on panel, 137 x 82 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The irregularly shaped panel was originally the central pinnacle of an altarpiece. It shows a highly emotional representation of Christ's suffering on the cross, with the cross extending the full height of the composition at its centre. At the base and to the left, the fainting Virgin Mary is supported by one of the Holy Women and St John, while Mary Magdalen grieves, clutching the bloodstained cross. To the right of the cross are various bearded men who introduce the beholder to the tragic scene. Angels hover around the Saviour on the cross, either lamenting Christ's death or collecting his precious blood. Six larger angels framed separately at the sides originate from a different altarpiece, probably painted by Jacopo di Cione, and were added to the Crucifixion by a nineteenth-century collector.

Several other panels of the original altarpiece, probably a triptych, were also identified in various collections.