GOZZOLI, Benozzo
(b. ca. 1420, Firenze, d. 1497, Pistoia)

Descent from the Cross

Oil on canvas, 180 x 300 cm
Museo Horne, Florence

This picture reflects the influence of the Dominican monk Savonarola, who demanded religious clarity without secular ornamentation. The strict interpretation of the biblical subject matter made it completely impossible to produce a display of magnificence such as in the Medicis' private chapel. In the scene, which contains many figures, the open view into the background and the gestures of Mary and St John the Evangelist guide us compositionally towards the central theme of the Descent from the Cross. In the background on the right, the dead body of Christ is lying in front of the tomb in the rock, surrounded by a group of mourners.