Maestro della leggenda di Apollo e Dafne - The Crucifixion
Maestro della leggenda di Apollo e Dafne
Oil and tempera on panel. 149 x 109 cm.
Alongside this large crucifix painted on panel, around 20 other works have so far been attributed to the Maestro della leggenda di Apollo e Dafne. He derives his notname from two panels depicting the legend of Apollo and Daphne from Ovid's Metamorphoses, which were donated to the University of Chicago's Smart Museum of Art by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.
Upon analysis of this artist's brushwork, numerous experts, including Mina Gregori, have come to the conclusion that he was active in the circle of Domenico Ghirlandaio or Bartolomedo di Giovanni. This piece depicts Christ crucified with three nails. A pelican is depicted at the top of the cross, as it was a common medieval belief that the pelican nourished its young with blood from its own breast until it died. The pelican thus became a metaphor for Christ's sacrifice out of love for mankind. It was one of the most widely used symbols for Christ's symbolic death, his passion, and for Christ himself.
Mina Gergori, Florence, 27.10.2008.
Italian private collection.