Alberto di Betto d'Assisi
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This painted wood sculptural group, currently difficult to see behind an eighteenth-century metal grate under an altar in the Cathedral of Siena, was originally commissioned by Ser Galgano di Cerbone as a part of a a larger, almost theatrical grouping of statues and frescoes for the Cappella del Crocifisso in the same church. Originally, the chapel contained an earlier crucifix, flanked by sculptures of the mourning Mary and John, and then over the altar, this group of the mourning Mary again holding Christ on her lap, with John again holding his arm, and in this case the Magdalene his foot. The work is very well preserved with its original polychromy and gilding intact. It was made of three large pieces of wood, hollowed behind to avoid cracking -- one for the ground, legs of the mourners, and the right leg of Christ, another for the upper parts of Mary and the Magdalene and Christ's body, and the third for the upper part of John and Christ's right arm. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.