(b. 1475, Caprese, d. 1564, Roma)
Polychrome wood, 142 x 135 cm
Santo Spirito, Florence
Serious considerations have lead art historians to identify this work found in the sacristy of Santo Spirito with the wooden cross mentioned by early writers as having been carved by Michelangelo in 1492 for the prior of that church. The way the head and legs are treated in contrapposto suggests a search for classical harmony. The extremely soft modelling of Christ, his tender facial expression, and the complex anatomical structure have no counterpart in any of Michelangelo's youthful works, and some critics have reservations about its attribution to that artist.