Giovanni Gioseffo dal Sole (attr.) (Bologna 1654-1719)
Christ on the Cross with the Virgin, Mary Magdalene, and St. John

Oil on canvas
290x230 mm

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-private collection, Florence

In 1601 Caravaggio puts an enormous yellow bottom on center stage in his Crucifixion of St. Peter in the Cerasi chappel of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome, a revolutionary and scandalous perspective that challenged the artistic Staus Quo of the time. Our little sketch depicts Christ crucifixion with the Virgin Mary, St. John and Mary Magdalene, a very popular subject painted a million times during centuries of Christian art. Nevertheless, this painting is unique in the way it depicts Mary Magdalen kneeling in front and not behind or on the side of the cross, as usual. The Magdalene is pictured in a position very similar to the one of the man lifting St. Peter cross in Caravaggio's painting. As a result, the Magdalene ostentatiously shows her bottom to the viewer. To make it worse, her vest marks the contour of the buttocks and the yellow color highlights and brings Magdalene's bottom closer to the eye of the viewer as in Caravaggio's painting. G.G. dal Sole worked in Rome, in Lorenzo Pasinelli's studio, from 1672 and likely saw Caravaggio's work. Probably influenced by Caravaggio's Crucifixion of St. Peter, G.G. dal Sole dared even more by putting a female bottom on center stage. This painting could be a station of the cross or a preparatory sketch for a larger version.