- Museum number
The three crosses; Christ and the two thieves, with figures below including some on horseback, the city in the distance at r
Pen and brown ink, with brown wash, heightened with white, on grey prepared paper
- Production date
Height: 240 millimetres
Width: 215 millimetres
- Curator's comments
Lit.: J.D. Passavant, 'Tour of a German Artist in England', London, 1836, (translation from the original German ed. published in Frankfurt, 1833), II, pp. 106-7 (as Mantegna); G. Waagen, 'Treasures of Art in Great Britain', London, 1854, I, p. 227 (not by Mantegna); K.T. Parker, 'North Italian Drawings of the Quattrocento', London, 1927, no. 15, p. 25 (as School of Andrea Mantegna); H. Tietze and E. Tietze-Conrat, 'The Drawings of the Venetian Painters in the 15th and 16th Centuries', New York, 1944, no. 312 (as Giovanni Bellini ?); A.E. Popham and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries', London, 1950, I, no. 15, II, pl. XIV (as Attributed to Giovanni Bellini); G. Agosti, 'Su Mantegna I, Milan , 2005, fig. 34 (captioned 'between Bellini and Mantegna')
Popham & Pouncey 1950
Literature: Waagen, Treasures, i, p. 227; Nagler, Künstlerlexikon, viii, p. 266; Milanesi, commentary to Vasari, iii, p. 434; Morelli, Kunstchronik, iii (1891/2), col. 526; L. Fagan, Handbook to the Department of Prints and Drawings, London, 1876, p. 48; C. Brun, Zeitschrift, xvi (1881), pp. 111 f.; Kristeller, Andrea Mantegna, 1901, pp. 439, 459; K. T. Parker, North Italian Drawings, 1927, pl. 15; Van Marle, xvii (1935), p. 348 and fig. 209; Gamba, p. 49 and fig. 8; Tietzes, no. 312.
Ascribed by Morelli to the school of Foppa, and by Kristeller to that of Mantegna. K. T. Parker, the first to reproduce this drawing, also regarded it as of the school of Mantegna, but suggested a comparison with the predella by Zenale and Butinone at Treviglio. The shape excludes any direct connection with the S. Zeno predella by Mantegna, on which the composition is based, and the types and style of drawing, though clearly influenced by Mantegna's, seem nearer to Giovanni Bellini, to whom Van Marle, the Tietzes, and Gamba attribute the drawing. The latter suggests that it may be a study for the lost painting in the Gattamelata chapel in the Santo at Padua, which is said to have been signed jointly by Jacopo and his two sons in 1460. There is, however, no evidence to support this conjecture.
Of all the works attributed to Giovanni Bellini, those closest in style to this drawing seem to us to be the predella formerly in the collection of Prince Ruprecht of Bavaria, now in the Alte Pinakothek (Gamba, figs. 14-16 and Fogolari, 'Dedalo', xii (1932), p. 375), and the predella of the altar-piece of S. Vincenzo Ferrer in SS. Giovanni e Paolo (repr. 'Dedalo', ut supr., pp. 376 ff,). It will be remembered that the predella at Munich, illustrating the 'Story of Drusiana', belonged to the lost Carità altar-piece of 'S. John the Evangelist' and was believed by Marcantonio Michiel to be the work of Lauro Padovano. It seems arbitrary to dismiss this evidence (as do Fogolari and Gamba, but not Gronau). If it is to be accepted, there is some reason for attributing the present drawing also to Lauro. It might well be the work of a miniaturist, which Lauro probably was, and seems to us to be inconsistent with what we regard as the work of Bellini. For the present, however, it seems safer to leave it under the heading 'Attributed to Giovanni Bellini'.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2007 Mar-Apr,BM Easter Passion exhibition
2008/9 Sep-Jan, Paris, Musée du Louvre, Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506)
2018-2019 1 Oct-27 Jan, London, National Gallery, Mantegna and Bellini
2019, 1 Mar-30 Jun, Berlin, Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Mantegna and Bellini
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Inscribed on mount by Philips Koninck.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number