St. Dominic Church

Crucifix with the Mother of God and St. John

Tempera and gold plate on wood

This is one of the biggest crucifixes in Europe: the height of the painted part is 412 cm, 500 cm with the gilt frame; its width is 318 cm, 403 cm with the gilt frame; the upper part of the tablet is 33.5 cm wide, and the middle part without the wooden decoration is 69 cm wide; the height of the trefoil excluding the wooden decorations is 80 cm; the side figures of the Mother of God and John are each 230 x 76.5 cm. Below the high Gothic triumphal arch, there is (as was the custom, in the Middle Ages in the bigger churches of the mendicant orders, especially the Dominicans), a large painting of the Crucifix. It was made by Paolo Veneziano, who was the most eminent Venetian painter of the 14th century. Veneziano had a leading role in separating Venetian art from the Byzantine style, and integrating it into the contemporary western trends. This crucifix is one of the finest examples of paintings of crucifixes and is a true masterpiece of medieval European art. It was ordered as a votive offering against the plague epidemic in 1384 and installed ten years later.

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