The descent into limbo

More powerful than Fra Angelico’s famous Descent into limbo is this contemporaneous painting by an unknown master. In Fra Angelico’s painting, the figures are stylized, in a style that reminds us of Blake. Here, a very human Christ reaches forward to the very human figures in limbo.

An article on has this to say:

The Master of the Osservanza’s Descent into Limbo stands out, above all by its weird colour. No reproduction can quite convey the peculiar radiance of Christ’s aureole – palest yellow with hints of pale violet – pressing into the utter blackness of the cave. The surface is oddly enamel-like, smooth and dense.

The painting (original size 38 x 47cm) hangs in the Harvard Museum of Art. A wonderful close-up photograph can be set on flickr.


~ by scalambra on January 9, 2011.

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