Benedetto Antelami, The Deposition from the Cross

1178
Parma Cathedral

In an early movement toward high medieval emotionality, Mary takes the hand of her son. Behind her is St. John the Evangelist, pictured with a beard to distinguish him from the women followers behind him. The woman between Mary and the cross has long hair and holds a jar, so she is most likely St. Mary Magdalene.

On the right side emotionality is again expressed by the bishop bowing his head in sorrow as the angel comforts him. (The angel's right arm echoes that of Jesus.) Behind the bishop are a group of standing soldiers and three men casting lots for Jesus' seamless tunic (John 19:23).

The date is inscribed in the innermost margin above the figures on the left; the artist's name, above those on the right.

Read more about the Deposition.

Source: Szeder László via Wikimedia Commons