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This fragment of a larger painting shows an elderly man on a precarious descent down a ladder. His grip is obstructed by a pair of pincers, which he has used to extract the nails which secured Christ to the Cross. Signorelli was noted in his time for his skill at depicting the human body in a variety of complex poses, and here he has conveyed the contortion required for such a broad man to climb such a tall and narrow ladder.
Man on a Ladder
oil on wood
H 88.3 x W 52 cm
accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the National Gallery, 2016