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A small pinnacle of an altar-piece, representing the Crucifixion, by Pietro Lorenzetti is now at the Fogg Art Museum as an indefinite loan. The date of the picture is set as sometime in the first half of the fourteenth century.
In the foreground of the painting is the fainting Madonna, supported by one of the three Marys, and in the group of figures near her stand the Magdalen, who gazes at the figure of the Saviour on the cross, and St. John, weeping, his head resting on his folded hands. At the right and left of the cross are soldiers on horseback bearing a red standard on which are the letters S. P. Q. R.
The composition is somewhat confused; the horsemen are crowded together; but the figures are vigorous and realistic, and show Pietro's originality in portraying individual types. The horsemen in fanciful armour recall similar figures in the Massacre of the Innocents and other paintings by the same artist. The prevailing tones are bright red, blue and orange yellow. The picture was formerly in the Fairfax Murray collection in London. It was shown in the Royal Academy Exhibition of 1879.
Masterpiece from Fifth Century.
Another recent loan to the Fogg Art Museum includes two fine pieces of sculpture; one is a Cambodian head which may be assigned to the 10th-12th century. The head represents Buddha, and is remarkable for the simplicity and grace of its modelling. It was recently on exhibition at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
The other piece of sculpture is a Greek head, probably the head of a warrior. The lower part of the face is missing, but this does not seem to detract from the great beauty of the whole. The delicate, yet firm and sure modelling, the nobility of expression place the head undoubtedly as the work of a master of the Great Period; the work probably dates from the second half of the fifth century, B. C.
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