The distinctive element here is the use of long, sharp, flowing lines. Their basic structure is firm: tall verticals against intersecting, receding diagonals. Over them the small details engrave a winding scroll-work of unnatural clarity, emphasized by long linear streaks of light. Later Venetian painting softened such lines with richer color and melted them into plainer masses. The direct effect on the eye is somewhat edgy, acrid, cramped, ungrateful. But such qualities are more consistent with the pain, the agonyand pity represented than are the suavity and sensuous richness found in later treatments of the same subject, when religious emotion had become less deeply sincere. And there is a certain decorative beauty, essentially Gothic, in this intricate music of line. It is enhanced by other, newer elements: a statuesque dignity borrowed from Roman sculpture, in the attitudes and draperies, the solid anatomical modelling, and the deep perspectives of the Florentine Renaissance.
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