MASTER OF PICO
The Crucifixion (230 x 169 mm.)
Italy, Ferrara, c. 1480
Blank on the verso, this finely painted Crucifixion may come from a Missal, in which it would have prefaced the Canon of the Mass. Its unusual technique resembles fresco painting in the thin washes of paint applied to the figures and the landscape, while the rich anecdotal detail, the elegant Gothic figures, and even the frame composed of a green wreath recall Ferrarese. The style of our Crucifixion is extremely close to that of one of the two painters of the Martyrology of the Confraternity of Battuti Neri, a manuscript illustrated with thirty-two full-page scenes of the Passion of Christ in the Cini Collection in Venice (MS no. 2501).
The Master of Pico was probably formed in Ferrara, although he spent the greater part of his career in Venice, and he is named for his contribution to Pliny’s Natural History illuminated for Giovanni Pico della Mirandola in 1481.