- Museum number
The punishment of the Lustful, study for Florence Cathedral; naked men and women descending into hell, having their genitalia tortured by demonic figures with flaming pokers
Pen and brown ink with brown wash and watercolour, with a strip of paper conjoined
- Production date
Height: 506 millimetres
Width: 753 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This and BM 1862,1011.188 and 189 (1862,1011.186; 1862,1011.188-191; 1863,0509.630-631 and 1953,0731.48) are related to the decoration of the octagonal Cupola of Florence Cathedral painted by the artist in 1576-9.
Lit: J.A. Gere and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, Artists working in Rome', London, 1983, no. 305; N. Turner, in exhib. cat., BM, 'Florentine drawings of the sixteenth century', 1986, no. 167; C. Acidini Luchinat, 'Taddeo e Federico Zuccari, fratelli pittori del cinquecento', Milan, 1998, II, p. 118, n. 83 (as a copy after Federico Zuccaro)
Gere & Pouncey 1983
A study for the lower part of the North West face of the Cupola. See 1862,1011.191.
Turner, Florentine Drawings of the Sixteenth Century, London, 1986
When acquired in 1862, 1862,1011.188 to 1862,1011.190 were attributed Frans Floris. A. M. Hind was the first to attribute them to Federico Zuccaro and to observe their connection with the outermost of the five concentric zones representing the Last Judgement in the interior of the octagonal cupola of Florence Cathedral. The programme of the decoration was devised for Vasari by the Florentine humanist and antiquary, Vincenzo Borghini, vertically in terms of the eight faces of the cupola, each of which forms a complete unit, and horizontally in terms of five concentric zones. When Vasari died, on 27 June 1574, the decoration was unfinished. In October of the following year negotiations with Federico Zuccaro for its completion were under way; he was established in Florence by the beginning of November 1575 when his enrolment as a member of the Accademia del Disegno is recorded (see 'Paragone', 205, 1967, p. 47 and Körte, p. 74). According to Agostino Lapini's contemporary 'Diario Fiorentino' (ed. G. O. Corazzini, Florence, 1900, pp. 193 and 201), Federico began the execution of the paintings on 30 August 1576, and the cupola was unveiled on 19 August 1579.
Apart from the East face, the outermost zone represents demons casting the damned into Hell in the foreground and angels conducting the blessed to Paradise in the background; it is entirely the work of Federico. He followed Vincenzo Borghini's plan of representing one of the Deadly Sins, typified by an appropriate animal, on each of these seven faces. Raffaello Borghini in his detailed contemporary description of the cupola ('Il Riposo', pp. 65ff.) and G. Richa ('Notizie istoriche delle chiese fiorentine', Florence, vi, 1757, pp. 159ff.), whose description is based on Borghini's, enumerate the faces in the following order and identify the Seven Sins and their attributes: 1 (East face): no Sin, but allegorical figures of 'Time', 'Death', etc.; 2 (North-East face): 'Envy', a hydra; 3 (South-East face): 'Wrath', a bear; (North face): 'Sloth', a camel; 5 (South face): 'Gluttony', Cerberus; 6 (North-West): 'Lust', a pig; 7 (South-West face): 'Avarice', a toad; 8 (West face): 'Pride', Lucifer.
1862,1011.188 is connected with the West face ('Pride'), 1862,1011.189 with the South-West face ('Avarice'), and 1862,1011.190 with the North-West face ('Lust'). Two other drawings in the Museum, en suite with the three exhibited here, are connected with Zuccaro's work on the cupola, one with the South-East face ('Wrath') and the other with the North face ('Sloth'): 1862,1011.186 and 1862,1011.191 respectively. All five drawings correspond closely with the finished paintings in the poses and relative positions of the figures and are identical in degree of finish and in their technique of brown ink and wash with pink wash used to indicate the glow of Hell fire.
Closely connected with these drawings is a group of five in the Albertina (inv. nos 14331-3, 14335 and 14338).
Literature: Gere & Pouncey 305.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1986, BM, Florentine Drawings 16thC, no. 167
2003/4 Oct-Jan, Oxford, Ashmolean Museum, 'Graceful and True: Drawing in Florence around 1600'
2004 Jan-Mar, London, Colnaghi's, 'Graceful and True: Drawing in Florence around 1600'
2004 Mar-May, Nottingham, Djanogly Art Gallery, 'Graceful and True: Drawing in Florence around 1600'
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number