The dead christ with angels painting by rosso fiorentino

The Dead Christ with Angels The painting, ‘Dead Christ with Angels’, by Rosso Fiorentino, is an example of Florentine mannerist style of painting, that expresses deep emotions through the use of light and colors in combination with proportioning of the body. The painting was made for Bishop Leonardo Tornabuoni in Florence. The painting depicts a highly refined human body of Christ, that is been showered with warm light to impart a feeling of softness and tenderness to the body. the use of light and shadow has been effectively done to provide emotional content to the painting which given an additional quality to the painting that were uncommon during the period in which it was made. In the painting, Christ has been shown in nude along with other angels who are smaller in size than him and have been clothed. The play with proportions and the use of brilliant colors in combination with light and shadow, shows that the painter is a follower of the Florentine mannerist school of painting.
In this painting the artist had made a deviation from his regular style of painting. This style consisted of sharp edges in painting along with the use of bright and complementary colors and with the delicate use of their changing effects. The body of Christ depicted in the painting, draws many influences from the works of Michelangelo. The physical features seem to be derived from his works like the sculpture of pieta and the ‘Risen Christ’ in the church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. Also, the posture of Christ sitting on the unidentifiable support resembles the postures of the ignudi on the ceiling of Sistine chapel. With the influence of Parmigianino, Rosso added elegance and sophistication to his work as compared to his earlier works and this is expressed in this work.
Christ, which is the central figure in the painting, is shown slightly larger than the angles; this might be an attempt to show the divinity and the largeness of his character. Rosso has attempted to show the body of Christ in its full beauty and this has been done by painting the body to its very last detail. The facial expressions and the inclination of the head, the languidly and sensually slouched torso in tranquility, has also been used to show as if Christ is in a state of pleasure and wellbeing in the company of the angels. The angel has been shown being touching as if intended to heal, the wound on the lower right side on the chest of Christ. However, there is no intentional distortion in the figures of the angels. Literally dominating the pictorial composition, the figure of Christ seems to be more solid and sculptural and in influence of the sculptures of the renaissance. The composition of the painting in combination with the effect of light shows the mood of Christ and shows that he is in a state of pleasure in the heaven; thus the painting poses an example of high emotionalism and expressionism.
Following the mannerist style of painting, the torso is shown larger than life and the head appears to be smaller. The chest and the shoulders are depicted to be broader whereas the thighs, legs and the arms seem to be more or less proportionate. This is intentionally done to exaggerate the emotional quality of the painting. However what emotion is intended to be stimulated remains unclear when unexplained. It seems he has also used foreshortening to give power and movement to the figures in the painting. This technique of foreshortening had been employed by Michelangelo in the ‘the last judgment’ painted at the Sistine chapel alter. Thus the painting shows the new and developing style of Italian mannerism with Rosso as one of its earlier proponent.