By Dillian Gordon
. lge fmt, 1981 illus, 2223pp
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Extra info for 100 Great Paintings - Duccio to Picasso
The emphasis is on the human form. There is no interest in landscape, and the scene has been idealised to the point of abstraction. There is no sign of the Cross or the hill of Golgotha in the distance; Christ's body is immaculate, untouched by wounds or blood. It is, in fact, only through an iconographic association with such pictures as The Entombment by Rogier van der Weyden (now in the Uffizi, Florence), which Michelangelo may have seen Medici collection, that the subject-matter is identifiable.
The background is a plain, stern grey. The bulk of the triangular blue-grey sleeve, almost chiselled out of fabric and echoing the shape of his hat, is thrust forbiddingly forward, placing a barrier between him and the spectator, in a way very similar to Titian's Portrait of a Man with a blue sleeve (see p. 83). The brilliant white light which catches in the rivulets of the shirt across his shoulder seems to come from an invisible window on the left through which the Florentine daylight is streaming in.
But in June 15 1 1, Julius appeared in Rome wearing a beard as a token of mourning for having shaved at the lost it sovereignty over the city of Bologna; by off, a fact that March 15 12 enables this portrait to be dated precisely between those dates. In September 15 13, after the Pope's death, the portrait up in Santa Maria del Popolo in Popes he had Rome, was put the church of the della Rovere, the family. According to Vasari, the likeness was convincing that all who saw it were intimidated. Indeed, Raphael's mastery of the technique of oil painting enabled him to attain the sort of realism Bellini had achieved a few years earlier in his portrait of Doge Loredan (see p.
100 Great Paintings - Duccio to Picasso by Dillian Gordon