The Crucifixion

St. Florian's Monastery, St. Florian, Austria

Decorations for the monastery church were begun in 1690 and completed in 1720, and for the most part they are in the baroque style. But this piece is more late-medieval in its approach to the Crucifixion.

Detail: A soldier grimaces at the Virgin Mary.

The thieves' bodies are painfully contorted, and a further gruesome touch is added by the soldier at the foot of the cross who twists his mouth in mockery of the Virgin Mary's faint. The faint itself, discountenanced by Molanus in the late 16th century, is another element in late-medieval Crucifixion images.

The soldier with his hands lifted may be either another mocker or else the centurion who said, "Surely this was the Son of God." The latter is usually pictured pointing to Jesus with just one hand.

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Photographed at the monastery by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.