About This Artwork

Lorenzo Monaco
Italian, c. 1370–c. 1422/23

Processional Cross, 1392/1395

Tempera on panel
Tempera on panel, including frame: 57.3 x 28 cm (22 1/2 x 11 1/16 in.); painted surface: 51 x 23.3 cm (20 1/8 x 9 3/16 in.); widest point at center: 13.2 cm (5 3/16 in.)
Inscription: atop the cross, ICXC (Jesus Christ); on the scroll held by the figure at the foot of the cross, [MISE] RERE MEI D[EUS] (Have mercy upon me, O God)

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1933.1032

This panel was apparently made for use as a processional cross; a hole drilled into the bottom of the cross would have held a tall pole for carrying it. Lorenzo, a monk (monaco) of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Florence, presumably made this liturgical object for use in his Camaldolese community. The cross has an intimate, penitential quality: accompanying Mary Magdalene is a blessed hermit who kneels below the flow of blood from Christ’s side. King David is visible in a grotto beneath the hill of Golgotha.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Muskegon, Michigan, Hackley Art Gallery, Italian Paintings in the Loan Collection from Mr. Martin A. Ryerson, M. Knoedler and Company, E. and A. Silberman, 1932, no. 1, as Gherardo Starnina.

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, 1933, no. 97, as Gherardo Starnina.

The Art Institute of Chicago, The Art of the Edge: European Frames, 1300–1900, 1986, no. 2.

New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Painting and Illumination in Early Renaissance Florence, 1300–1450, 1994, no. 28.

Art Institute of Chicago, Devotion and Splendor: Medieval Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, 2004.

Florence, Galleria dell'Accademia, Lorenzo Monaco: A Bridge from Giotto's Heritage to the Renaissance, 2006, cat. 11.

Publication History

American Art Sales 3, 1 (December, 1927), p. 40.

D. C. Rich, “A Crucifixion by Bernardo Daddi,” Art Institute of Chicago Bulletin 22 (1928), pp. 74–75, ill.

Art Institute of Chicago, Handbook of Sculpture, Architecture, and Paintings (Chicago, 1922), p. 183.

Bernard Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance (Oxford, 1932), p. 165.

William R. Valentiner, Paintings in the Collection of Martin A. Ryerson, unpub. MS [1932], Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago, n. pag.

Bernard Berenson, Pitture italiane del Rinascimento (Milan, 1936), p. 142.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in The Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection (Chicago, 1961), p. 224–25.

Hans Huth, “Italienische Kunstwerke im Art Institute von Chicago, USA,” in Miscellanea Bibliothecae Hertzianae (Munich, 1961), p. 516.

Bernard Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Florentine School, vol. 1 (London, 1963), p. 53.

John Maxon, The Art Institute of Chicago (London, 1970), p. 24, ill.

Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections (Cambridge, Mass., 1972), pp. 11, 292, 571.

Miklós Boskovits, Pittura fiorentina alla vigilia del Rinascimento, 1370–1400 (Florence, 1975), p. 340, fig. 457.

The Art Institute of Chicago: 100 Masterpieces (Chicago, 1978), p. 37, no. 1, ill.

Marvin Eisenberg, Lorenzo Monaco (Princeton, 1989), p. 182.

Christopher Lloyd, Italian Paintings before 1600 in the Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Collection (Chicago, 1993), pp. 86–89, ills.

Carl Brandon Stehlke, review of “Italian Paintings before 1600 in The Art Institute of Chicago. A Catalogue of the Collection,” in Burlington Magazine 136 (1994), pp. 625–626, fig. 37.

Francis Russell, “An Early Crucifixion by Fra Angelico,” Burlington Magazine 138 (1996), p. 316, fig. 15.

Larry J. Feinberg in “Devotion and Splendor: Medieval Art in the Art Institute of Chicago,” ed. Christina M. Nielsen, Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 30, 2 (2004), pp. 54–55, no. 32.

George R. Bent, Monastic Art in Lorenzo Monaco’s Florence. Painting and Patronage in Santa Maria degli Angeli, 1300–1415 (Lewiston, Queenston and Lamperter, 2006), pp. 211–12, 220, 223–5, fig. 70.

Angelo Tartuferi, “Ancora su Lorenzo Monaco, dopo la mostra e il convegno,” in Intorno a Lorenzo Monaco: nuovi studi sulla pittura tardogotica (Atti del Convegno. Intorno a Gentile da Fabriano e a Lorenzo Monaco. Nuovi studi sulla pittura tardogotica Fabriano, Foligno and Firenze, 2006), ed. Daniela Parenti and Angelo Tartuferi (Livorno, 2007), p. 41.

Ownership History

Achillito Chiesa, Milan; sold American Art Association, New York, pt. 4, November 22–23, 1927, no. 110, as Pietro Lorenzetti, for $1800 [see American Art Sales 1927]. Sold by Kleinberger, New York, to Martin A. Ryerson (d. 1932), Chicago, 1927 [according to Registrar’s records]; on loan to the Art Institute from 1927; bequeathed to the Art Institute, 1933.




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