Crocifissione

Crucifixion

Paolo Caliari detto Paolo Veronese

Author
Paolo Caliari detto Paolo Veronese
Verona, 1528 - Venezia, 1588
Title
Crucifixion
Catalogue
255
Date
ca. 1582
Support
Canvas, 285 x 447 cm
Provenance
Venice, church of San Nicolò della Lattuga; held by the museum since 1834
Hall
Hall X

When the church of San Niccolò della Lattuga behind the Basilica dei Frari was demolished it was stripped of its paintings, which were all sent to the Gallerie dell’Accademia with the exception of Titian’s altarpiece which is now at the Pinacoteca Vaticana. This huge Crucifixion belongs to Veronese’s later work, around 1582. His palette is gradually darkening due to the more sombre mood in Venice following a deadly outbreak of the plague in 1575. The intensely dramatic nature of this work is more akin to Tintoretto’s tumultous scenes than the luminous atmosphere of Veronese’s painting from earlier decades. The gathering stomclouds add to the effect and in the foreground a demon seems to be emerging from the bowels of the earth, terrifying onlookers and causing the horse on the right to rear up. In the background, the city of Jerusalem provides a ghostly backdrop and a reminder of Christ’s passion.