Master of Faenza, Crucifixion and Assumption of St. John the Evangelist

Master of Faenza,
Crucifixion and Assumption of St. John the Evangelist

Master of Faenza, Crucifixion and Assumption of St. John the Evangelist
XIII century, wood, 35×28 cm + frame 15 cm, Inv. n. 98

The wood has a golden base and is divided into two parts. Upper part is a representation of Jesus’s crucifixion. The lower part has a depiction of the Assumption of St. John the Evangelist as narrated, according to a commonly accepted interpretation of Anna Tambini, from a medieval legend. The identification of the Saint is confirmed by the similarity of the clothing with the St. John beside the cross in the upper composition. In this depiction the moment when John is about to die and has gone down into the grave that he had his disciples dig, is then lifted by an angel and almost pulled out forcibly by Christ who appears with two Saints to save him. The emotions of the figures, from John’s disciples who are already grieving the death of Christ, who runs toward his favourite apostle, are achieved with great skill and much more modern tones compared to thirteenth-century Byzantine tradition.

The author, considered an innovator who shunned Byzantine tradition, is identified as the Master of Faenza, who worked there between 1260 and 1280. Another three paintings on wood kept in the Pinacoteca of Bologna are attributed to the same master.

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