GHISSI, Francescuccio
(active 1359-1395)

The Dead Christ and the Adoration of the Infant Jesus

after 1373
Tempera and gold on wood, 39 x 29 cm
Pinacoteca, Vatican

The Incarnation of Christ and his death are depicted in this panel, which is divided into two sectors, one above the other.

The deceased Christ is portrayed in half length with his arms crossed on his chest. His head is tilted to one side and his eyes are closed, with a cross on his halo and the stigmata clearly visible on his hands and ribs. Two angels at his sides are richly embellished with diadems and halos on their heads and with capes and wings. They also have their arms crossed like Christ, a gesture that expresses resignation for the unavoidable divine sacrifice.

In the lower sector, the infant Jesus is lying on the ground, barely covered by a transparent cloth; his small body emits strong rays of light. Two angels kneel behind him with their hands clasped together. They wear diadems and have halos above their heads. The Madonna, with her arms crossed on her chest, and Saint Joseph, with his hands clasped together in adoration, are kneeling before the child.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.