- Museum number
The Lamentation, compositional study for a painting; the body of Christ in the foreground, his head resting on the lap of the Virgin, surrounded by a group of mourners. 1522
Red chalk over stylus underdrawing, squared for transfer with the stylus
Verso: Study of a nude male standing holding nails and the Crown of Thorns, and a study for the dead Christ in the Lamentation
Red chalk, and pen and brown ink
- Production date
1521 (circa (Pordenone))
1564 (Antonio Campi)
Height: 367 millimetres
Width: 277 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- A study for the frescoed 'Lamentation' on the inner west wall to the left of the door of Cremona cathedral painted in 1521-2 (illustrated in colour Furlan p. 115; Cohen 1996, II, no. 33). This is the last in a series of Passion scenes painted by Pordenone beginning in the Summer of 1520 with the final payment in December 1522. Charles Cohen (1975) noted that the figure of Christ depends on Altdorfer's woodcut of 'Jael and Sisera'. The pose of Christ was changed in the fresco to a more orthodox one.
The figure on the verso is probably intended for a Joseph of Arimathea holding the nails and crowns of thorns. No such figure appears in the fresco, although elements of the pose, such as the twist of the shoulders and the position of the feet , resemble that of St John on the right of the group both in the recto study and in the finished painting. In the pen study of Christ traced from the one of the other side the artist makes revisions to the position of the left arm and to the head. Caterina Furlan noted that Christ's pose on the verso was taken up by Antonio Campi for the figure of Patroclus in his 'St Paul raising Patroclus' fresco of 1564 in San Paolo Converso, Milan (illustrated in B. de Clerck, 'The Brothers Campi: Images and Devotion. Religious Paintings in Sixteenth-Century Lombardy', Amsterdam, 1999, fig. 9, p. 37; Bora 2011, fig. 5, p. 375). Furlan suggested that Antonio Campi might have owned the present drawing and that he might be responsible for the pen study on the verso - this attribution was also taken up by Giulio Bora in his 2011 article on Antonio Campi. The connection with the Milan painting and the similarity of the penwork with certain drawings by Antonio, such as the 'Conversion of St Paul' in the Accademia, Venice (Bora fig. 13), make his intervention in the drawing seem highly likely.
A black chalk drawing attributed to Naldini in a Paris Drouot sale, 23 May 2007 (experts: Bruno and Patrick de Bayser), lot 17 includes a squared copy in the upper left corner after a figure very like the Christ in this drawing. The figure in the Paris drawing is naked suggesting that it was copied after a life drawing by Pordenone. The Paris drawing doesn't look like the work of Pordenone, more likely it is by a Cremonese admirer in the orbit of the Campi. (The drawing was subsequently acquired in 2009 as Antonio Campi by the National Gallery of Canada). Giulio Bora in his article on Antonio Campi rejected this attribution, suggesting that it was by Bernardino Campi.
Lit.: P. Pouncey, 'A Drawing by Pordenone', "British Museum Quarterly", XXIV, 1961, pp. 27-8; C.E. Cohen, 'Pordenone's Cremona Passion Scenes and German Art',"Arte Lombarda", XLII-XLIII, 1975, pp. 81-2; C.E. Cohen, 'The drawings of Giovanni Antonio da Pordenone', Florence, 1981, pp. 82-3; D. Scrase, in exhib. cat., London, Royal Academy, 'The Genius of Venice', 1983, no. D37, p. 269; C. Furlan, 'Il Pordenone', Milan, 1988, no. D1, pp. 248, 252; N. Turner, exhib. cat., BM, 'The Study of Italian Drawings: The contribution of Philip Pouncey', 1994, no. 62, p. 58; G. Bora, in exhib. cat., Cremona, 'I segni dell'arte, il Cinquecento da Praga a Cremona', 1987, no. 19; C.E. Cohen, 'The Art of Giovanni Antonio Pordenone: between dialect and language', 2 vols, Cambridge, 1996, I, pp. 185-6, II, under no. 33, p. 582 and 584; C. Van Cleave, 'Master Drawings of the Italian Renaissance', London, 2007, p. 138, illustrated p. 139; G. Bora, 'Le 'molte maniere' del disegno di Antonio Campi', in D. Ferrari and S. Marinelli (eds), 'Scritti per Chiara Tellini Perina', Mantua, 2011, pp. 159-60. fig. 6
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1983/4 Nov-Feb, London, Royal Academy, 'The Genius of Venice', no.D37
1994, BM, 'The Study of Italian Drawings', no.62
1990 April-Aug, BM, 'Treasures of P&D' (no cat.)
1997/8 Sept-Jan, Cremona, Museo Civico, 'I segni dell'arte', No. 19a/b
2016-17, Oct-Jan, Suzhou, 'Italian Renaissance Drawings', no. 46
2019 11 Apr-30 Jun, Macau Museum of Art, Macau, 'Italian Renaissance Drawings'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Purchased privately through Messrs Hodgson acting on behalf of the Executors of the late Miss Frances E.Clinton, of Ashley Clinton, Hampshire, using the sale of two duplicate etchings from van Dyck's Iconography from the Malcolm collection to Colnaghi to raise part of the necessary funds. See reports to Trustees 12 December 1957 and 31 January 1958.
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.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number