Fra Angelico's Tempio Lamentation
DiCindio, Carissa Maria
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Painted for the main altar of Santa Maria della Croce al Tempio in Florence, Fra Angelico’s Lamentation was originally an altar frontal before which condemned prisoners were chained just prior to their execution. Because of this function, the work contains visual elements that would have been relevant to these prisoners and that served as a source of comfort to viewers facing death. This painting was both narrative and devotional. Prisoners could relate their own execution to Christ’s death and contemplate his sacrifice, when they viewed this image.