FRANCESCO DI VANNUCCIO
(Siena, documented from 1356 to 1389)
Crucifixion with St. Francis and St. Guy
Tempera on panel, gold ground – 2 11/8 x 8¼ in (53,5 x 20,8 cm)
The perfect physical condition of this painting adds to its importance as one of the rare surviving works by Francesco di Vannuccio, who was active in Siena during the second half of the fourteenth century. The exquisite handling of every detail points to his talent in taking up the legacy of Simone Martini and launching it in a new direction, rich in solemn pathos and heralding the International Gothic style.
This picture is enchanting for its varied gold decoration and the elegant, sinuous profiles of the figures. These are composed with confident, incisive lines and modelled with a sensitivity for delicate, cool tonalities, reflecting the finest Sienese tradition.
Technical and formal virtuosity are balanced by a vivid description of restless emotion. This is especially true in the face of the Virgin Mary, at once beautiful and grimly sorrowful, and in that of John the Evangelist, marked by a tormented gaze and cheeks still warm from weeping.
Acquired by the Musée du Louvre