The Crucifixion
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Master of St. Veronica
German, Cologne, about 1400 - 1410
Tempera colors, gold leaf, and gold paint on parchment
Leaf [cut to shape]: 9 5/16 x 4 7/8 in.

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Jesus hangs on the cross, his attenuated arms stretched far apart. He looks down at his grieving mother, whose flowing draperies emphasize her swooning posture. By depicting him with an elongated torso, uncomfortably crossed legs, and an elegantly drooping head, the artist emphasized Jesus' human suffering and frailty. The Roman soldier at the right recognizes the divine nature of Christ and turns to the Pharisee at his side. According to the Bible, he says, "Indeed, this was the Son of God." These words were intended to fill the empty speech scroll above his head.

The gold geometric pattern of the background, the richly colored robes, and the elaborate Gothic arches framing the miniature all contribute to the scene's elegance. The illuminator, the Master of Saint Veronica, painted with richly saturated bright colors and linear arabesques, creating figures with tall proportions dressed in sumptuous courtly attire. The style he employed, known as the International style, was closely associated with the courts of Paris and Prague.