The Virgin Annunciate and the Archangel
Mixed technique on poplar
Inv. No. 841A
61 × 45 cm
This painting looks like a work in its own right, but is actually a fragment of a panel cross that depicted Christ crucified on its vertical arm (widened at the sides) and half-length figures of the Virgin and St. John at the ends of the crosspiece (also enlarged to create pictorial fields). Panel crosses of this kind hung above the rood screen or near the entrance to the choir – reserved for the clergy – in large churches. Deodato Orlandi may have painted this panel cross, which was originally about 5.3 meters high and thus unusually tall, for the Church of San Piero a Grado near Pisa, for which he also executed an extensive cycle of frescos.