- Museum number
Lamentation over the dead Christ: cartoon for a small panel or fresco
Brush drawing in brown ink, heightened with white, the outlines pricked, on two conjoined sheets; framed
- Production date
- 1500-1600 (?)
Height: 533 millimetres
Width: 738 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Lit: P.Pouncey and J.A. Gere, 'Italian drawings in the BM, Raphael and his circle', London, 1962, I, no. 202, II, pl. 170 (with previous literature); A. Marabottini, 'Polidoro da Caravaggio', Rome, 1969, I, no. 20, II, pl. LXXII; L. Ravelli, 'Polidoro Caldara da Caravaggio', Bergamo, 1978, no. 26
Pouncey & Gere 1962
The attribution to Polidoro is due to Popham: the composition is certainly Polidoro's, and, so far as it is possible to tell in the present condition of the drawing, the quality is high enough for it to be from his own hand.
1944,0708.16 is evidently a cartoon for a small panel or fresco, to all appearances in grisaille. This must have had a certain fame, since three sixteenth-century copies of the composition are known to us: by Naldini, in the British Museum (1895,0915.558 in the present volume), under the name of Ambrogio Figino, in the Ambrosiana (Braun 75172), and as Battista Franco, at Munich (2952).
These copies show clearly three background figures, almost invisible in the cartoon: the head of a veiled woman in profile immediately above the figure supporting Christ's shoulders; a veiled woman, with l. arm outstretched, behind the Magdalen; and the head of a youth, in profile, in the upper r.-hand corner.
Kultzen notes in this connection Vasari's reference (v, p. 148) to a 'storietta' in grisaille by Polidoro of 'Cristo morto con le Marie' in the Martelli Chapel in S. Agostino. The composition of 1944,0708.16 is not that of the fresco in S. Maria della Pietà in Camposanto (Kultzen, pl. 18).
Literature: R. Kultzen, Zeitschrift für schweizerische Archäologie und Kunstgeschichte, xxi (1961), p. 27.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1962/3 Nov-Sep, BM, Raphael and his Circle (P+G)
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- This item has an uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45. The British Museum welcomes information and assistance in the investigation and clarification of the provenance of all works during that era.
Purchased through the sale of a duplicate from the Malcolm collection and recorded as Malcolm Addition 244.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number