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Observing 'Crucifixion' by Pietro and Ambrosio Lorenzetti

The piece of art I chose to write my final essay on is call Crucifixion c. 1350 which was painted by Pietro and Ambrosio Lorenzetti (Italian (Sienese)). It was a gift from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. The lines in this painting appear to be thin and lineless. The colors are very earth toned on the entire painting; however, the red color is the most prominent color. All four people in the painting have on red cloth.

The background of the painting is a yellowish golden color and has blood splatters coming out of Jesus’s side and running down his body onto the ground.

There is no sky in this painting which precedes the Renaissance period. The style of the painting is naturalism which is intended to make the event feel as real as possible to its viewer. This painting is an example of Sienese artwork.

The spacing and color in this piece of art is intended to keep the viewer’s eye moving.

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The eye is drawn to the to the warm red colors collected at the bottom but follow the painting upward. There is more open space above the head of Jesus until the eye is drawn to the small circle that showcases a man reading a book, presumably a bible.

Pietro Lorenzetti was born in the late thirteenth century in Italy. His brother, Ambrogio was also a painter. The brothers worked side by side painting churches all over Italy. Lorenzetti and Ambrogio introduced naturalism into Sienese art. They frequently experimented with three-dimensional and spatial preparations.

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These measures foretold the art of the Renaissance period.

The Crucifixion dates back to the 1350’s. Its medium consists of tempera and gold on a wood panel. The gold color used on the painting symbols heavenly light, whereas the red color symbols love and hate, martyrdom, and blood.

This religious artwork was important because it was done at a time when Christianity was strong. It preceded the black plague that was still to come and would change people’s faith and the type of art to be painted during the dark ages. The intention of the Crucifixion is to project faith, justice, love, unity and Christianity. Love is shown in Mary’s bereavement at the feet of Jesus, as well as the other two figures, one whom appears to be gazing up to Jesus and the other looking down, doesn’t seem to be able to take in the pain that is being reflected. Halos are seen around all the heads of the people in this painting, this symbolizes eternity.

This artwork reminds me of the sacrifice Jesus, and God, made for me. The sacrifice they made for all mankind. Jesus chose to die for our sins and there is no greater gift that could be given to me than the promise of eternity in Heaven. This artwork caught my eye the most when choosing something within the time frame given. It was a humbling visual reminder of the pain that Jesus and his followers went through. The Lorenzetti brothers captured the humanity of this moment. I feel great sadness when looking at this artwork, but also hope.

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Observing 'Crucifixion' by Pietro and Ambrosio Lorenzetti. (2019, Dec 13). Retrieved from

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