Bologna and Rimini
The iconography of the crucifix during the first millennium of the Christian era displays a standing and central figure on the cross, with open eyes. This figure will afterwards be replaced by the dying man, a pattern which was already known in the Christian East, but not accepted in the West until recently, and, indeed, sometimes considered a heretical iconography. This new image is constantly being adapted and developed in many variations. The figurative revolution of Cimabue, who represents Christ on a hyperbolic curve, is almost suddenly cancelled when Giotto places a real man on the cross, with a body weight and a downward pull. The works along the itinerary in the National Picture Gallery and Giotto’s cross at the Tempio Malatestiano in Rimini show us how the model of the crucifix evolves.
Contents and images by Polo Museale dell'Emilia Romagna