Spanish Spain, Crucifixion, ca. 1490, Tempera and gold on panel; 143.8 x 113 cm (56 5/8 x 44 1/2 inches), Gift of John Nicholas Brown 69.197
In this depiction of the Crucifixion, the Roman centurion Longinus is shown lancing Christ’s side as Mary faints in the arms of John the Evangelist. Beside Christ hang two thieves, one repentant, the other offering his soul to a demon. The gilded and punched surface and lavishly costumed figures reflect a late International Gothic style, here dominated by Flemish realism. Although this altar panel once hung in the parish church of El Cubo de Don Sancho in Salamanca, it likely was commissioned by a wealthy donor for a more important setting. Unpainted upper corners indicate that its original frame had a curved inner edge. The panel may once have been located at the center or top of a more elaborate altarpiece.