A small panel by Bartolo di Fredi in the Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria

Victor M. Schmidt
This article proposes that a small 'Crucifixion' in the Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria, Perugia, currently attributed to Niccol˛ di Buonaccorso (with or without question mark), is in fact a late work by another Sienese painter, Bartolo di Fredi (doc. 1356, d. 1410), datable to the 1390s. In addition to the attribution and date, two other aspects of the painting are discussed. First, the poignant expressions of grief in the figures of the Virgin and Saint John the Evangelist, which are compared to contemporaneous Sienese paintings. The seated position of the latter recalls the poses of guardians in scenes of the Resurrection, and also shows remarkable similarities with those on ancient Greek terracottas. Second, the figure of the cardinal at the foot of the cross, whose halo seems to have been added at a slightly later date with the purpose of turning the prelate into a saint, probably Saint Jerome. Originally, he must have represented the painting's patron, although unfortunately it is not yet possible to propose a plausible identification.


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