© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

The original function of this tiny painting, executed with the refinement of an illumination, is unclear. The jewel-like image shows the figure of the crucified Christ alone, heightening the beholder’s empathy and engagement with his suffering. This delicate painting may have been made during the final period of the artist’s life, which Simone spent in the papal court at Avignon in France. His sophisticated circle of friends and patrons there, including the poet Petrarch and high-ranking members of the curia, would certainly have responded to its refined elegance.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Simone Martini, Italian (c. 1284 - 1344)
Christ on the Cross
Work Type
c. 1340
Creation Place: Europe, Italy, Tuscany, Siena
Level 2, Room 2500, European Art, 13th–16th century, Art and Image in Europe
View this object's location on our interactive map
Physical Descriptions
Tempera and gold on panel
25 x 13.6 cm (9 13/16 x 5 3/8 in.)
Léon Bonnat, Paris, by 1909. [Gimple & Wildenstein], sold; to Fogg Art Museum, 1919
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Hervey E. Wetzel Bequest Fund
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.
Publication History

William Germain Dooley, "[Review] Cleveland Opens Great Exhibition of Old Masters: Official Art Display of Great Lakes Exposition Rivals Two Chicago Shows", Boston Transcript (June 27, 1936), p. 14

"Dooley Perceives Art Appreciation Moving to West: Transcript Editor Points to Cleveland Painting Exhibit as Evidence", Boston Transcript (Boston, July 23, 1936)

Catalogue of the Twentieth Anniversary Exhibition of the Cleveland Museum of Art: The Official Art Exhibition of the Great Lakes Exposition, exh. cat., Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland, 1936), pp. 57-58, cat. no. 132, repr. as plate XIV

Wildenstein Jubilee Loan Exhibtion, 1901-1951: Masterpieces from Museums and Private Collections, exh. cat., Wildenstein & Company (New York, 1951), cat. no. 1, repr.

S. Lane Faison, Jr., A Guide to the Art Museums of New England, Harcourt, Brace and Co. (New York, NY, 1958), p. 113, repr. as no. 4

Edward Waldo Forbes, Yankee Visionary, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1971), p. 4

Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1972), p. 122

Everett Fahy, "Italian Painting Before 1500", Apollo (May 1978), vol. 107, no. 195, pp. 377-388, p. 382-383, repr. p. 382 as pl.1

Kristin A. Mortimer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums/Abbeville Press (Cambridge, MA; New York, NY, 1985), no. 159, p. 141, repr.

Pierluigi Leone de Castris, Simone Martini: Catalogo completo dei dipinti, Cantini Editore (Florence, 1989), pp. 128-129, cat. no. 30, repr. p. 129

Edgar Peters Bowron, European Paintings Before 1900 in the Fogg Art Museum: A Summary Catalogue including Paintings in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), pp. 129, 282, repr. b/w cat. no. 484

Marco Pierini, Simone Martini, Cinisello Balsamo (Milan, Italy, 2000), pp. 220-221, repr. in color

Hayden B.J. Maginnis, The World of the Early Sienese Painter, Pennsylvania State University Press (University Park, PA, 2001), p. 109; repr. as fig. 68

Chikashi Kitazaki, ed., Between Reality and Dreams: Nineteenth Century British and French Art from the Winthrop Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., National Museum of Western Art (Ueno, Japan, 2002), p. 14, repr. as fig. 3

Pierluigi Leone de Castris, Simone Martini, Federico Motta Editore (Milan, Italy, 2003), pp. 250-251, repr. with detail; note p. 364

Kathryn Brush, Vastly More than Brick and Mortar: Reinventing the Fogg Art Museum in the 1920s, Harvard University Art Museums/Yale University Press (Cambridge MA / New Haven, CT, 2003), p. 35, repr. in b/w as fig. 14

Carl Brandon Strehlke, Italian Paintings 1250-1450 in the John G. Johnson Collection and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA, 2004), p. 340; repr. p. 341 as fig. 61.2

Exhibition History

The Twentieth Anniversary Exhibition of the Cleveland Museum of Art: The Official Art Exhibition of the Great Lakes Exposition, Cleveland Museum of Art, 06/26/1936 - 10/04/1936

Wildenstein Jubilee Loan Exhibition, 1901-1951: Masterpieces from Museums and Private Collections, Wildenstein & Company, 11/08/1951 - 12/15/1951

Master Paintings from the Fogg Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/13/1977 - 08/31/1977

Re-View: S422-423 Western Art of the Middle Ages & Renaissance, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 08/16/2008 - 06/18/2011

32Q: 2500 Renaissance, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/01/2014

Subjects and Contexts

Collection Highlights

Google Art Project

Related Works

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu