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Giovanni Antonio da Pordenone (ca. 1483–1539)
Crucifixion, 1520–21
Red chalk
7 1/8 x 8 inches (180 x 204 mm.)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1909; IV, 69
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Pordenone used this quick exploratory sketch to map out the initial design for his fresco of the Crucifixion painted in 1520–21 on the inner wall of the facade of Cremona cathedral. In order to incorporate changes to the composition, the sheet was cut at the right, where the artist inserted the rectangular piece with the horseman.

The Cremona frescoes are remarkable for their violent expressivity, which borrowed elements from northern painting and prints.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.