Crucifixion Masaccio Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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The masterful artist Masaccio portrays the crucifixion of Jesus Christ as showcased through the title of the artwork.

An Italian chapel in Pisa had commissioned Masaccio to paint the mural on the grand walls of the building. The artwork was completed within 10 months as the artist was seized in painting the art piece.

The background of the painting illustrates a Gothic arch portrayed on the horizontally based artwork. The background is covered in a gold colour, adding a mystical allure to the luxurious colour, creating a wealthy feel to the work.

The artist seems to have used a gold leaf technique in order to showcase the texture and colour of the metallic background. At the time many artist used a gold material in order to showcase the dazzling colour.

Masaccio is well known for using gold in his work to illustrate a wealthy feel behind the artwork, mainly situated for chapels as many are still covered today in art dating back to the renaissance period.

An artist with a similar style who incorporated an array of gold shades within their work is prominent artist Gustav Klimt; who used the fancy material to accentuate the plots in his paintings. The artistÕs work is referred to as the Gold Phase where most of his artwork showcases the impeccable colour.

The crucifixion showcases the head of the Christian religion, Jesus Christ dead on the cross as he dies for the sins of his people. The painting is depicted from the retile standpoint as the figures stand in a linear position. The artist did not desire to showcase their form in a 3D context, yet rather instead through a flattened point of view.

The main point of reference within the artwork is based in the middle of the painting as the body of Christ hangs linearly. The metallic background only works to accentuate the artwork bringing attention to the death of Jesus Christ. A movement of form and colour is situated belong his body, as a female figure bows with her arms open beneath him.

Her rich orange cloak covers the fabric as she extends her arms out in a lively form. The artist had highlighted the upper part of her textile through a lighter yellow with glimpse of gold.

To the right of the woman, a distraught figure stands clinching their hands together as they arch their back leaning their head upon their hands. A deep red and blue fabric lines the presence of their body as they add to the emotion of the artwork. Similarly, the figure to the left of the woman looks up to the dead body as she prays for forgiveness. All three prominent figures are engulfed in the death of Jesus Christ as they morn the head of their religion.

Masaccio's work often depicted these religious stories, as he desired to adapt their impact into his work. The significance of his artwork allowed for Masaccio to still be seen as a significant figure today, as he depicts the significant stories that seized his generation.