A Fine Sculpture Depicting the Flagellation of Christ
Bronze, wood, silver
Early 17th Century
Carlo Gaetano Stampa (1667 - 1742), Cardinal and Archbishop of Milan
Sotheby’s, London, A Collection of Renaissance Bronzes, Property of a Gentleman, 30 June 1969, lot 63
Sotheby’s, London, European Works of Art, 4 July 1984, lot 105
V. Golzio, ‘Lo ‘Studio’ di Ercole Ferrata’, Archivi, II, (1935)
J. Montagu, ‘A Flagellation Group: Algardi or du Quesnoy?’ Bulletin des Musées Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire, (1966 - 7) pp. 153 - 193
M. Heimburger Ravalli, ‘Alessandro Algardi Scultore’, (Rome – 1973)
G.P. Bellori, ‘Le Vite de' pittori, scoltori e architetti moderni’, E. Borea (ed.) (Turin – 1976)
After the flagellation, a cohort of soldiers gathered around Christ in Pilate’s headquarters, stripped Him, put a purple robe around His shoulders, a twisted crown of thorns on His head and a reed in imitation of a sceptre in His hand. They knelt before Him and cried, ‘Hail, King of the Jews’ then led Him away to be crucified. Carved with a scene from Christ's Passion, the panel would have provided a focus for prayer and meditation and may have been used in conjunction with a set text such as the ‘Via Crucis’ or stations of the cross, a devotion which comprises fourteen images from the Passion before which prayers and passages of the gospels are recited during Holy Week.
The Crown of Thorns is a parody of the crown of roses that the Roman Emperor wore at festivals, and is portrayed as a circular woven ring. The soldiers being recorded as having twisted thorns into a crown. Together with the cross, nails and whip, it is a potent symbol of Good Friday.
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