(b. 1494, Pontormo, d. 1557, Firenze)

Christ before Pilate

Fresco, 300 x 290 cm
Certosa, Galuzzo

Pontormo produced a cycle of frescoes of immense religious force for the cloister of the Certosa at Galuzzo, just outside of Florence. Due to their exposure to the elements, they have survived in poor condition whwich, oddly enough, enhances their mysterious appeal. In part relying upon German prints, including those of Albrecht Dürer, for some compositional suggestions, Pontormo operates within complex spatial and proportional systems. The central figure of Christ, shown in profile, is thin, frail and elongated. He is placed in opposition to the robust youth in the distance, higher on the vertical axis and in a much smaller scale.