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The Scourging of Christ

1615/16-1618
Giulio Cesare Procaccini (Italian (Milanese), 1574–1625)


Dimensions

216.6 x 148.9 cm (85 1/4 x 58 5/8 in.)

Accession Number

1981.353

Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

On View

William I. Koch Gallery (Gallery 250)

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Paintings

Procaccini’s shallow, claustrophobic composition—with threatening faces half hidden in the shadows—pushes this scene outward, off the canvas. In 17th-century Italy, paintings like this were meant to confront viewers with Christ’s suffering and inspire emotion (and devotion). Here the artist emphasizes the tortured Christ’s agony, bathing his twisted body in cold, harsh light.

Provenance

About 1615/1616, probably commissioned by Pedro de Toledo Osorio (b. 1546 - d. 1627), Governor of Milan and, in 1618, taken to Spain [see note]. 1981, sold by Somerville and Simpson, Ltd., London, to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 16, 1981) NOTE: Odette d'Albo, "I Governatori Spagnoli a Milano e Le Arti: Pedro de Toledo, Giulio Cesare Procaccini e le 'Historie Grandi della Vitta di Nostro Signore,' " Nuovi Studi 20 (2014): 145-164, has suggested that the MFA painting is one in a series of thirteen canvases depicting the Passion of Christ, commissioned by Pedro de Toledo Osorio from Procaccini. The commission is mentioned in a letter from Fabio II Visconti Borromeo to Giovan Carlo Doria (January 31, 1616); and the group of paintings is mentioned in Osorio's inventory of 1625 and in a posthumous inventory of about 1627.

Credit Line

Juliana Cheney Edwards Collection, by exchange