unknown German artist
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This painted wood crucifix is currently displayed in front of a frescoed backdrop, above Filippo Lippi's altarpiece in the Martelli Chapel in San Lorenzo in Florence and so is sometimes known as the Martelli Crucifix. The pathos of the very thin body, ribs protruding and arms stretched taut, dramatic swaying pose, and physiognomy of Christ all identify this as a work of a German sculptor. In contrast, Italian sculptors of the period depicted Christ's body as more elevated and classical, twisting with greater fluidity.The work was made c. 1440-50. German itinerate sculptors are known to have traveled through Italy earlier, in the fourteenth century and very beginning of the fifteenth century, and many German crucifixes survive in Italy from that period. It is rare to find such a late German crucifix in Italy, but a commission for a German crucifix in Florence is documented to have occurred as late as 1457, and so there must have still been such Northern specialists in Italy, if perhaps not in the same numbers. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.