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Compianto sul Cristo morto coi Santi Francesco, Antonio da Padova Siena

Compianto sul Cristo morto coi Santi Francesco, Antonio da Padova

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Year: 1481
Current location: Museo di San Donato - Collezione di Banca MPS


108.5 x 115.5 cm

In the lower part of the table an inscription in capital letters shows the name of the painter ("OPVS. SANI. PETRI. DE SENIS. ME. PINSIT") and the date of execution of the work ("YEAR. DOMAINS. MILLECCCCLXXXI"). As already in the Crucifixion made for the convent of Santa Maria Maddalena, Sano di Pietro transforms the scene of the Lamentation over the dead Christ into a sort of heraldic emblem of the passion and death of Christ, on whose mystery the faithful were called to meditate exhorted by merciful gestures by Antonio da Padova (left) and Francesco d'Assisi (right): the participation of the two Saints in the painful event is to be related to the specific commission of the work, which we know performed for the Franciscan convent of the Capuchin Nuns of Siena. The symbolic value of the representation is accentuated by the presence, on the sides of the cross, of the instruments linked to the martyrdom of Christ, such as the spear and the barrel with the sponge soaked in vinegar; the figures of the Moon and the Sun, very recurring in the medieval Crucifixions, allude respectively to the Old and New Testaments: only in the light of the New Testament (symbolized precisely by the Sun) could the Old Testament (the Moon) be interpreted in its correct meaning, as a prefiguration of the coming, passion, death and resurrection of Christ. The painting is one of the last creations of Sano di Pietro that we know died in the same year (1481) to which the execution of the work dates: the languid and stereotypical expressions of the characters, accompanied by the slow and compassionate mimicry of the gestures, give the scene that pietistic intonation which constitutes one of the most recurring formulas of the figurative repertoire, however very limited, of our painter. However, the sense of general schematization, suggested by the same disinterest for an objective definition of the spatial planes of the composition, seems to escape the delightful piece of landscape that forms the background of the scene: the delicate combination of pink, green and blue tones and the happy invention of the round hillocks, manned by tiny towered buildings, qualify as one of the latest expressions of those whimsical and bizarre inventions developed by Sassetta and Pietro di Giovanni d'Ambrogio in the first half of the fifteenth century.

Compianto sul Cristo morto coi Santi Francesco, Antonio da Padova