(b. ca. 1450, Modena, d. 1518, Modena)

Lamentation over the Dead Christ

Terracotta, partially pigmented, life-size
San Giovanni Battista, Modena

Mazzoni specialized in composing groups of life-size, naturalistically pigmented terracotta figures whose gestures and facial expressions convey intense emotional involvement. His works on the theme of the Lamentation include portrait figures of donors as biblical personages and incorporate life casts of the subject's face and hands, often reworked to fit the action of the scene.

Mazzoni's standard format for this theme is distinct from the Deposition and Entombment tableaux of Franco-German tradition, and shows seven mourners around the corpse of Christ, expressing varying degrees of grief. The figures of the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, Mary Cleofa, Mary Salome, St John the Evangelist, Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus are usually arranged in a shallow semicircle facing the viewer set within a large and slightly elevated niche, which may originally have been painted to depict Calvary. The groups were designed to be seen from several viewpoints including from below.

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