If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content
Current time:0:00Total duration:4:10

Video transcript

the back of the - star is astonishing it's every bit as large as the front but has many many more panels but due to isn't conceiving of each one entirely separately he's thinking about how to unify all of these scenes together and make them really legible for a viewer a great example of that is if you look at the three central scenes at the bottom you have Christ in the garden he's asking his apostles to remain awake while he has a private meditation with God but after the apostles left but you see them a second time this time fast asleep not having heeded his request at all I do want to make note of the three central trees in that image those trees are echoed in the image just above which is the arrest of Christ this is the betrayal and you can see Judas who has already been paid the pieces of silver by the Roman authorities to identify Christ with a kiss you see Christ being abandoned by his followers or most of them who flee but Peter comes to his rescue and on the left side you can see Peter actually taking out his knife and slicing off the ear of one of the soldiers so we have a continuous narrative in both of those panels we do especially since we see those trees as sort of a second time and they are echoed in both scenes but what's most interesting I think is if you go one more step up you see a double-height scene and this is the crucifixion now of course the crucifixion is incredibly important and so is given much more room but those three trees now have become three crosses so doochie I was thinking about ways that he can visually bring the scenes together uniting formal elements between the panel's let's take a look at the first double panel you might think about it the way that an illuminated manuscript will sometimes have a large opening capital letter it gives us that idea of where to begin that's right this is the entry of Christ into Jerusalem and we see Christ entering rather humbly into the gates of Jerusalem and we can identify Christ because he's larger than the other figures and wears a halo he's riding in on a donkey all the elements that are delineated in the Gospels are here you have people in the trees you have people laying down cloth before him you can see his apostles following behind him and the people of the city literally pouring out of the gates in order to give us a sense of a real crowd coming to see Christ you'll notice that there's actually a reverse perspective because the figures in the back are Archer than the figures in the foreground and also higher which would not be the case in correct perspective but did she has given this wonderful impression of a real crowd of people pressing to see Christ and his followers entering Jerusalem there does seem to be a love of architecture and the rendering of architecture almost for its own sake and look at those beautiful Lancet windows and it's this interesting combination of architecture and a space for the figures to occupy but then also this gold background that indicates the heavenly and the spiritual so this mixture of both we mentioned the gold background and as you look across not just this panel but all the panels on the back of the - Tov not to mention the panels on the front of the Maya stock there is just an enormous amount of gold it is literally a treasure and one can only imagine what it would have looked like in the stark white and black marble space of the Cathedral unfortunately this painting was taken off of the altar and was ultimately in the 18th century cut up for private purchase this was a moment when the so-called Italian primitives became sought-after by some collectors the result is we don't have all the paintings in Siena but many of them are scattered in museums around the world there is a one panel for example at the Frick Collection and it would be lovely to understand these paintings in one place you