Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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Segna di Bonaventura, from Siena, was the nephew of Duccio di Buoninsegna, that city’s leading artist. They shared a love of flowing lines, harmonious colour combinations and graceful expression of emotion. Painted Crucifixes of this kind were common features of Italian churches in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and they would have hung high over an altar or the choir. In the mid-thirteenth century, in line with new ideas about worship that encouraged a greater emotional connection to Christ’s suffering, the image of Christ crucified changed. The pain and sorrow of his death became the focus of the representation. Here, for example, Christ’s lifeless body hangs limply, legs drooping to one side and head slumped forward. Blood drips from the wounds on his hands and feet and sprays from his side.

The National Gallery, London





early 14th century


Tempera on wood


H 213.5 x W 184 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1857

Work type



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