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The painting “Crucifixion” by the Italian master Masaccio was painted in 1426 to decorate the premises of the Pisa chapel Santa Maria del Carmine. It is the most famous and accurate picture of Masaccio in terms of dating and cost, since the customer, in view of the special impression made by him, scrupulously documented all the data regarding his order.
In the process of creating the work of Masaccio, at the urgent request of the customer, which was played by the notary Giuliano di Colino, famous in Pisa, he used only the most expensive and high-quality materials. Also, information indicates that in the process, the artist used gold leaf.
The plot of the picture tells us about the moment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. At the center of the work is Christ crucified on the cross. To his left is John the Evangelist, dressed in a tunic of blue color, and the right is the grieving Mother of God, dressed in broad clothes, blue clothes with a red tunic thrown over them.
Mary Magdalene, in grief extending her arms to her unjustly killed teacher, is located right in front of the cross and is visible to the viewer only from the back. But even from this angle, it becomes clear how much the grief of the woman, who, however, will very soon be the first of the people who was honored to see a great miracle - the appearance of the Risen Jesus. The painting depicts Mary in red robes, hunched over and with her head uncovered.
It is worth noting that the upper end of the cross is crowned with a symbol that signifies the imminent rebirth and gives hope to those who mourn, namely, the Tree of Life.
There is a version that Mary Magdalene was not present at the picture from the very beginning. The fact is that the halo above her head visually appears over the feet of Christ, which is hardly compatible with Masaccio's mistake in the initial work on the painting.
At the same time, the restoration, carried out in the middle of the 20th century, revealed another interesting fact - under the inscription that read “Jesus the Nazarene King of Judea”, it was just the very Tree of Life mentioned above. Who and why removed it from the original version of the composition is still a big mystery.
Another interesting fact: it is likely that initially, to enhance the effect of the biblical scene rising above you, it was supposed to be looked up and down. This is indicated by the volumetric chest of Christ, as well as the weakly expressed neck of Mary Magdalene.
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