Monday, April 02, 2007

"Descent from the Cross" by Daniele da Volterra

Daniele da Volterra (originally Daniele Ricciarelli), (b. 1509, Volterra, d. 1566, Roma)
Deposition ( c. 1545)
Cappella Orsini in S. Trinità dei Monti, Rome

The first major commission of Daniele da Volterra came in 1541, when he was asked to decorate with frescoes the Cappella Orsini in the Trinità dei Monti in Rome.

There his most famous painting is located, the Descent from the Cross (circa 1545), after drawings by Michelangelo.

By an excess of praise the "Descent from the Cross", was at one time grouped with the "Transfiguration" of Raphael and the "Last Communion" of Domenichino, as the most famous pictures in Rome.

However the painting was influential in that many painters came to study and draw the painting. Included amongst them was Pieter Pauwel Rubens who was in Italy from 1600 to 1608. He knew the painting well during his stay in Rome.

The Descent from the Cross was a theme that Rubens explored in numerous compositions, creating some of his most powerful and dramatic works. His great triptych of The Descent from the Cross was painted in 1612/3 for the chapel of the guild of the Harquebusiers in Antwerp cathedral.

The influence of da Volterra`s work is evident in Rubens` compositions.