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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
See CORSAIR catalog record for this item »

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