The Mannerist masterpiece is conserved at the Pinacoteca and Civic Museum in Volterra
The Volterra Deposition from the Cross by Giovan Battista di Jacopo, known as Rosso Fiorentino, is a masterpiece of Florentine Mannerism, painted in 1521 and today held in the Pinacoteca and Civic Museum in Volterra.
In his Deposition, Rosso Fiorentino achieved drama thanks to the angular arrangement of the figures and objects, which creates a jagged effect, for the unrestrained movement of some of the figures and for the intense, reddish colours that stand out against the uniformly-coloured sky.
The contortion of the bodies and faces adds to the extreme exasperation: the face of the old man looking down from atop the cross is tense like a mask. The asymmetrical arrangement of the ladders elicits a violent motion, highlighted by the instability of the ladders as the men remove Christ’s body from the cross, while the light vividly slices into the scene from the right, creating a harsh chiaroscuro-like impact.
Volterra has an unmistakable Medieval character, where the atmosphere of an ancient village can still be felt and whose authenticity is protected by the relative isolation that has limited the development of the city center in the industrial era, safeguarding the city from urban speculation. ...