From a distance, the painting screams.
As you approach it, you see that it is all a stillness of silent witness, grief and submission against a backdrop of anguished red.
An approach through the Cloisters at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
These cloisters have elements from the Abbey of Saint-Denis-des Fontaines in the (historical) French province of Roussillon. 1270-’80. Some modern additions. Marble.
You notice that the blue of the Virgin’s robe is an etiolated blue.
And that the triangle, often a constituent element of Renaissance paintings, is here reversed.
The apex, a point directly below Jesus’ feet, is pointing downwards into the earth.
Where Jesus will soon be. Until Sunday at the first hour.
The Crucifixion, with The Virgin and St. John the Evangelist Mourning, 1460, oil on panels. Rogier van der Weyden, 1399/1400 – 1464, Flemish.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Crucifixion, 2003, plaster, plywood, fabric and enamel paint.
Rachel Feinstein, American born 1971. Private collection on loan to the Jewish Museum, NY in 2020