Baccio da Montelupo
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A recent restoration in 2012 has established an attribution of this painted wood crucifix to Baccio da Montelupo, a sculptor who led a successful workshop in Florence in the second half of the fifteenth century. Similar to other crucifixes of the period, Jesus displays a serene, peaceful expression to animate his last moments of life and evoke piety on the part of the viewer. The small drops of blood on Christ's forehead indicate that he was likely fitted with a crown of thorns, while the small size of the Crucifix, which roughly measures an arm's length, suggests that it was used for private devotion. The fiery Dominican preacher, Girolamo Savonarola, owned a similar devotional crucifix for private prayer in his cell chamber at San Marco. Baccio was one of Savonarola's favourite artists, probably because the sculptor avoided the use of expensive-looking materials that were condemned by the preacher as a form of idolatry. In 1496, Baccio also created a monumental crucifix for the church of San Marco that was possibly a prototype for the small one shown here, suggesting there was a relationship between the original and copied image, as well as the conflation of private and public devotion in the period. Today, the Crucifix is displayed in the Museo degli Innocenti in Florence. Photograph(s) licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.