Mond Crucifixion - by Raphael

Mond Crucifixion is one of Raphael's earliest works, greatly influenced by Perugino.There is a flat, decorative, calligraphic quality to the upper section of the picture; the ribbons of the angels, Christ's loincloth, and the silhouettes of the angels themselves establish a monogrammatic surface play in marked contrast to the highly sculptural Christ. Perhaps the most distinguished aspect of the picture, finished when Raphael was twenty, is the landscape; and here, too, Perugino's example assumes a crucial role. The meandering river beyond the cross, whose prominent central position in the composition is a probable reference to baptism, punctuates the gently rolling landscape, broken by low hills and a large, eroded cliff. A few dark trees in front of the lighted sky cut through the horizon. In the extreme distance the forms of the foliage, merely suggested with a few free strokes of the brush, are consumed by light and atmosphere. The impression of great distance is further enhanced by the gradual lightening of the tones near the horizon, both in the sky and in the landscape.