The Crucifixion – Fra Angelico

1387-–1455

This little picture comes from the collection of the Marquis de Gouvello. Its only public appearance in recent times was at the Alsace Lorraine Exhibition held at the Louvre in 1885 under the auspices of the French Government for the purpose of raising funds for the help of the exiles from the lost provinces.

The arrangement of the picture is symmetrical. In the center is Christ on the Cross, at the base of which kneels Saint Mary Magdalen between Saint Dominic at the left and Saint Thomas Aquinas at the right, both wearing the black and white habit of the Dominican order. Back of Saint Dominic stand the Virgin Mary, a Bishop Saint probably Saint Augustine, and Saint Mary Salome. In corresponding positions at the other side are Saint John Evangelist, Saint Fran-cis, and Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. There is a palm tree on each side of the cross and a landscape background, which consists of low hills and a wide expanse of twilight sky, much in the spirit of the painting of the last century.