Cosimo Rosselli 1439 – 1507

The Crossing of the Reed Sea

fresco (350 × 572 cm) — 1481-82 Museum Sistine Chapel, Vatican City

Cosimo Rosselli biography

This work is linked to Exodus 14:27

Tags: Moses

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Cosimo Rosselli was probably the least talented among the masters who worked in the Sistine Chapel. He and his team made four frescos: two on the life of Jesus (on the north wall), and two on the life of Moses, on the south wall.

This fresco is also known as The Destruction of Pharaoh's Army in the Red Sea. Moses leads his people through the Reed Sea by parting the waters. He is chased by Egyptian warriors, but the sea closes just in time to save the Israelites. The pillar in the middle is the "pillar of fire" that God used to scare the Egyptians.

Kneeling next to Moses is his sister, the prophetess Miriam.

It is uncertain to whom this work should be attributed: Rosselli, or his assistant Biagio d'Antonio Tucci.

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