Christ Brought Down From the Cross and Saint Joseph of Arimathea, Saint Mary Magdalene and Saint John

Ortolano (Giovan Battista Benvenuti)

Ferrara, c. 1485 – after 1527

Oil on panel, cm 115 x 180

Inv. 80

The Pinacoteca Nazionale, Ferrara

This lunette was originally at the top of an altarpiece that is now lost. It was painted in the early years of the sixteenth century, and is the greatest work of Ortolano’s early years. It already shows his ability to translate the elegant, Classical models into more straightforward, concrete forms. The low point of view highlights the monumental aspect of the figures which, lit by natural light, resemble the painted terracotta sculptures that were common in churches at the time.