The Trinity (Throne of Mercy)

Fresco, 252 x 124.8 in. (640 x 317 cm.)
Church of Santa Maria Novella, Florence

As in the canonical Throne of Mercy type, the Father presents his crucified Son to the viewer, and the dove symbolizing the Holy Spirit lights upon Christ's head. As in some other painted versions, the cross is flanked by St. John and the Virgin Mary. In this case, the central composition is itself flanked by portraits of the donors.

This photograph omits the lower part of the fresco, in which Adam's skeleton rests in a sarcophagus marked with the phrase, I WAS WHAT YOU ARE AND WHAT I AM YOU SHALL BE. The skeleton replaces the more familiar skull at the base of the cross and redirects its purpose from symbolizing the "world" to cautioning the individual viewer.

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