Crucifix with St. Mary Magdalene, St. Anthony of Padua, and St. George
Bartolomeo di Giovanni
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This small crucifix (in poor condition and which looks to be made of painted wood) is affixed to a metal cross and housed in a painted tabernacle, with St. Mary Magdalene praying beneath the cross and Saints Anthony of Padua and St. George in the wings, all set in an atmospheric landscape. Given the size and form of the work, it was likely made originally for domestic devotion (and did, in fact, come to the Museo Nazionale in Arezzo from a private residence, the Casa Tavanti in Arezzo). The wings, curtains, and veils were used in domestic objects to protect the central devotional icon, but also sometimes to cover the image so that the holy figures would not see any misdeeds being performed in front of them. This is one of several cases in which a three dimensional crucifix, which may well predate the setting, is given a painted backdrop, transforming it from a singular icon into a larger narrative. (See also larger scale examples in Santissima Annunziata in Florence and Sant'Andrea in Pistoia, which were in both cases earlier crucifixes, which were taken on procession, etc., before being fixed into their respective chapels.) Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.