Brunelleschi's Crucifix

Brunelleschi's Crucifix
Brunelleschi's Crucifix
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Before Filippo Brunelleschi did this work, his friend, colleague and somewhat rival Donatello showed him a crucified Christ he had carved in wood for the church ofSanta Croce in Florence. And when contemplating that work, Brunelleschi told him that it was a too human crucifix, that in reality Jesus seemed more like a peasant than the son of God and that he lacked the necessary spirituality for that work.

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Brunelleschi's Crucifix

Then Donatello had no choice but to challenge him to see if Brunelleschi could make one better than his. This is how this work began to be carved and was hung around 1412 in the church of Santa Maria Novella in the same city of Florence.

And it is said that when Donatello finally saw it finished he was in for a major surprise, so much so that it is reported that a basket of eggs that he had just bought fell out of his hands.

The truth is that they are two wooden Crucifixes of the same size and made in the same city and in a short period of time, but they are different. That yes the two made by two of the best sculptors of the Italian Renaissance.

Both convey two ways of seeing Christ on the cross. They are two different concepts. While Donatello opts for a greater humanity and reality, in the case of Brunelleschi we are facing a much more divinized image. It isIt is true that we see how his sores bleed from the wounds that have been inflicted on him, but it is a body and above all a face that does not reveal any suffering. He creates an image emphasizing the quality that he missed in Donatello's work, because theBrunelleschi's Crucifixis the image of a divine being

Another interesting detail is that it shows us a naked Jesus Christ, just as he is supposed to have been crucified in Roman times. That same nudity would be taken up by another great Renaissance and Florentine sculptor, the very Miguel Ángel Buonarrotti, who would also make a wooden sculpture of the Crucified, in this case for the church of Santo Spirito, precisely projected by Brunelleschi in his role as an architect.

To compare the three works, you have to take a tour of three churches in Florence, although for some time they have been exhibited together in the Baptistery of San Giovanni, a unique occasion to see three special works of the Florentine Renaissance.

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The Crucifixes of Donatello, Michelangelo and Brunelleschi

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