Master of Montelabate, Italian (active Umbria), documented 1285; active 1280-90
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In the 1200s, the Franciscans popularized the use of large, painted crucifixes like this one, which were often mounted on rood screens that divided the nave from the sanctuary of a church. Though the dying Christ's figure follows the model of a famous crucifix then in the Franciscan's principal church in Assisi, this painting was not made for a Franciscan church, but probably for the church of a nearby monastery of another religious order. At Christ's feet kneels the donor who ordered the painting. He does not wear a Franciscan friar's simple tunic, but the rich robes of an abbot.
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