Formalism and Marxism:
The composition of Giovanni di Paolo’s Crucifixion with Donor illustrates hierarchy. The height of the figures themselves represent the different social classes within society. Jesus is the tallest figure, towering above the others making Him the most important figure of the painting.He represents the government. He rules over a group of people, has the power to do anything He pleases, and is treated with the utmost respect by those that agree with Him. The Virgin Mary, the second tallest figure in the painting represents the upper class. She has the closest connection to Jesus, (remembering He’s our government) and can have almost anything she wants by way of her relationship to Him, similar to how the people ...view middle of the document...
Mary Magdalene is the fourth tallest figure and she represents the working class. She depends on Jesus for guidance in her “new” life, but has learned how not to live her life. The people of the working class depend on the government for minor things like rights to form unions, but overall they can support themselves.The Donor, the shortest figure, represents the lower classes. He has the most dependent relationship with Jesus. He looks to Jesus for spiritual and mental guidance to survival, just as the lower class looks to the government for financial guidance to survive.
The death of Jesus in Giovanni di Paolo’s Crucifixion with Donor represents the collapse of the government and all of the chaos it would bring to the state, similar to how Europe was affected around 1915 when the government of various european countries collapsed due to World War I. The position of the figures in the painting create a circle of impact, dead Jesus being the center. Dead Jesus becomes the point of impact because he represents the collapsed government, the cause of the chaos. Mary Magdalene and the Donor are in the first circle of impact. Representing the working and lower classes, Mary Magdalene and the Donor will be negatively affected by the collapse of the government the most soon after it happens. Their desperaration for the government to survive is depicted by their kneeling, praying, and vigourously grabbing the cross. The Virgin Mary and St. John are in the second circle of imapct. Representing the upper and middle classes, The Virgin Mary and St. John are less despendent on the government and therefore less affect by its collapse. However they have to prepare for when the collapsed government starts to affect them just as much as it doe