ANDREA DA FIRENZE
(active 1343-1377, Firenze)

Bearing of the Cross, Crucifixion, Descent into Hell (north wall)

1366-67
Fresco
Cappellone degli Spagnoli, Santa Maria Novella, Florence

The end wall (the north wall) of the chancel chapel is devoted entirely to three scenes from the Passion of Christ: the Bearing of the Cross at bottom left, the Crucifixion in the middle, and the Descent into Hell at bottom right. The Crucifixion extends over the entire width of the upper wall segment as a multifigure image of Golgotha. In this scene the crosses of the two thieves create recessional axes into space, although the actual space depicted is relatively shallow. The thieves twist convulsively on their crosses while a group of figures runs from an attacking soldier at the right.

The Crucifixion image derives from Sienese examples such as Simone Martini's fresco in the lower church of San Francesco, Assisi, and Lippo Memmi's fresco in the Collegiata, San Gimignano.

The thematic continuation of the Passion scenes is found on the vault frescoes in the Resurrection, the Miracle of Pentecost, and the Ascension of Christ.




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