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Gallery Text

This panel may be one of the last executed by Ambrogio before he died in the devastating pandemic known as the Black Death. Ambrogio and his brother Pietro ran two of the most successful workshops in Siena, producing many images made for private devotion. Although there are no traces of hinging on the sides of this panel, a painting of an enthroned Virgin and Child with saints attributed to Pietro Lorenzetti that is now in Berlin may be the other half of a diptych to which this painting once belonged. If so, it suggests a close relationship between the artists’ workshops. The coupling of an enthroned Virgin with a Crucifixion was common in the fourteenth century, but few Crucifixions from this period present the balance of narrative, composition, and palette so subtly.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Italian (c. 1285 - 1348/49)
Previously attributed to Pietro Cavallini, Italian
The Crucifixion
Work Type
c. 1345
Creation Place: Europe, Italy, Tuscany, Siena
Persistent Link
Level 2, Room 2500, European Art, 13th–16th century, Art and Image in Europe
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Tempera and gold leaf on panel with engaged frame
61 x 29 cm (24 x 11 7/16 in.)
with engaged frame: 71.5 x 35.5 x 4 cm (28 1/8 x 14 x 1 9/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • label: verso, white rectangle with red trim, handwritten in brown ink: C10338 / Fogg art
Cyril B. Harcourt, London (as Pietro Cavallini), by 1829. Charles Farifax Murray, London, by 1909, his sale [Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, June 15, 1914, lot 20, bought in]. John E. Murray, Florence, sold; to Paul J. Sachs, 1919, gift; of Meta and Paul J. Sachs, 1939.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Paul J. Sachs in honor of Edward W. Forbes's thirtieth year as Director of the Fogg Museum
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

Royal Academy of Arts, Exhibition of Works by The Old Masters, and by Deceased Masters of the British School. Including Oil Paintings, Miniatures, and Drawings. Winter Exhibition, exh. cat., William Clowes and Sons, Ltd. (London, 1879), p. 84, cat. no. 178 as by Pietro Cavallini

Bernard Berenson, The Central Italian Painters of the Renaissance, G. P. Putnam's Sons (New York, 1909), p. 188

Collection Charles Fairfax Murray. Catalogue de Tableaux Anciens...provenant de la Collection Charles Fairfax Murray de Londres, auct. cat. (Paris, June 15, 1914), p. 25, repr.

George Harold Edgell, A Crucifixion, Fogg Art Museum Notes, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1921), pp. 9-16, pp. 9-16, repr.

Raimond Van Marle, The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting, M. Nijhoff Publishers (The Hague, 1923-1938), vol. II, pp. 420, 429, repr. as fig. 279

Giulia Sinibaldi, I Lorenzetti, Istituto Comunale d'Arte e di Storia (Siena, 1933), p. 186

Lionello Venturi, Italian Paintings in America, E. Weyhe Gallery (New York, NY, 1933), vol. I, plate 84, repr.

George Henry McCall and William R. Valentiner, Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture from 1300-1800, exh. cat., William Bradford Press (New York, 1939), p. 108, cat. no. 220

Agnes Mongan, Memorial Exhibition: Works of Art from the Collection of Paul J. Sachs [1878-1965]: given and bequeathed to the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, exh. cat., Harvard University (Cambridge, MA, 1965), cat. no. 86, repr.

Mojmír S. Frinta, "Note on the Punched Decoration of Two Early Painted Panels at the Fogg Art Museum: St. Dominic and the Crucifixion", The Art Bulletin (September 1971), vol. 53, no. 3, pp. 306-309, pp. 307-309, repr. p. 308 (details), p. 309

Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1972), p. 109

James N. Carpenter, Color in Art: A Tribute to Arthur Pope, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1974), p. 71, cat. 32, ill.

Erling Skaug, Notes on the Chronology of Ambrogio Lorenzetti and a New Painting from His Shop, Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz (Florence, 1976), vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 301-304

David Kolch, "Reconstruction System for Panel Painting Supports: A Review and Evaluation of Treatments in the Fogg Museum Laboratory, 1927-1952" (thesis (certificate in conservation), Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies , August 1977), Unpublished, pp. 1-60 passim

Everett Fahy, "Italian Painting Before 1500", Apollo (May 1978), vol. 107, no. 195, pp. 377-388, p. 385-386, repr. p. 384 as fig. 7

Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), no. 164, p. 146, repr.

Miklós Boskovits, Frühe Italienische Malerei, Gebr. Mann Verlag (Berlin, 1988), p. 91, repr. on p. 324 as Kat. 32 fig. 42

Joseph Romano, Connoisseurship and Photography: The Methodology of Mojmir Frinta, Visual Resources (1990), vol. VII, pp. 163-183, pp. 170-173, repr. p. 171 and 172 as figs. 6 and 7

Edgar Peters Bowron, European Paintings Before 1900 in the Fogg Art Museum: A Summary Catalogue including Paintings in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), p. 34 color plate; pp. 116, 287, repr. b/w cat. no. 502.

Mojmír S. Frinta, Punched Decoration on Late Medieval Panel and Miniature Painting, Maxdorf Publishers (Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1998), p. 542, under Oc4

Joseph Polzer, "Concerning the Origin of the Virgin of Humility Theme", RACAR, revue d'art canadienne (2000), vol. XXVII, no. 1-2, pp. 1-31, p. 23; repr. fig. 22

Keith Christiansen, "Paul Delaroche's Crucifixion by Pietro Lorenzetti", Apollo (February 2003), vol. 157, pp. 8-14, p. 13, repr. as fig. 7

Alessandro Bagnoli, Roberto Bartalini, and Max Seidel, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, exh. cat., Silvana Editoriale (Siena, 2017), pp. 216, 218, repr. p. 218 as fig. 29

A. Cassandra Albinson, ed., Madame de Pompadour: Painted Pink, Harvard Art Museums and Yale University Press (Cambridge, 2022), repr. as fig. 11 on p. 42

Exhibition History

Exhibition of the Works by The Old Masters and by Deceased Masters of the British School. Including Oil Paintings, Miniatures, and Drawings. Winter Exhibition., Royal Academy of Arts, 01/01/1879 - 01/01/1879

An Exhibition of Italian Paintings and Drawings, Fogg Art Museum, 03/24/1939 - 04/15/1939

European Paintings and Sculpture from 1300-1800, New York World's Fair, 05/01/1939 - 10/31/1939

Memorial Exhibition: Works of Art from the Collection of Paul J. Sachs [1878-1965] Given and Bequeathed to the Fogg Art Museum Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 11/15/1965 - 01/15/1966; Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York, 12/19/1966 - 02/26/1967

Color in Art: A Tribute to Arthur Pope, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/25/1974 - 06/16/1974

Master Paintings from the Fogg Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/13/1977 - 08/31/1977

Re-View: S422-423 Western Art of the Middle Ages & Renaissance, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 08/16/2008 - 06/18/2011

32Q: 2500 Renaissance, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

Related Works

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu