This is one of two frescos which Botticelli titled the same, although their compositions are quite different. The other is circa 1490-1495 so probably came afterwards and it can now found in the Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan.
Whilst the drawings of Botticelli are concentrated mainly with just a few collectors, his paintings are distributed far more thinly. The majority are spread across Europe and North America. There is never any shortage of interest in the Renaissance masters such as Botticelli.
His frescos were generally large-scale, as opposed to his sketchwork which tended to be small enough to fit individual pages of manuscripts or sketch books. This painting stands at 140 cm × 207 cm (55 in × 81 in) and was completed as tempera on panel.
At the time of these two artworks Botticelli was starting to be influenced by the changing tastes across Florence. Religious sensibilities were now very much in vogue and he adapted his style accordingly. A quick comparison between the different periods of his career and you will quickly see clear variations and development in his style.
Whilst the masters always enjoyed a certain level of freedom and artistic respect, they would still need to be aware of changing tastes in order to ensure that they continued to receive the most prominent commissions.
Many famous names from the world of art have used the theme of the lamentation of Christ as inspiration for their work. Some of the best known examples include Lamentation by Peter Paul Rubens, Lamentation over the Dead Christ by Raphael, The Lamentation over the Dead Christ by Rembrandt and The Lamentation.
Those in this composition mourning over Christ include the Virgin, St Peter, and Mary Magdalene, St John the Evangelist, St Jerome and St Paul. These significant figures have also been depicted thousands of times within art, most frequently during the Religion-heavy Renaissance.
The Church of San Paolino in Florence originally hosted this fresco before moving to the Galleria degli Uffizi. This world famous gallery also holds several other frescos and drawings by this master of the Early Renaissance.
At the time of the execution of this painting Botticelli had started to become significantly influenced by Savonarola's preachings in his home city of Florence. What had earnt his fame in the past was to be replaced by a more subtle, reflective religious style which dominated the latter part of his career.