- Museum number
Scenes from the Passion: Christ before Pilate and his scourging to left, to right the crowning with thorns and the Ecce Homo, scenes in the temple, with roofs of other buildings seen beyond; after Hans Memling
Brush drawing in black ink, touched with watercolour, on a sheet of cast gelatine (for tracing)
- Production date
- 1520-1540 (c.)
Height: 355 millimetres (max)
Width: 340 millimetres (max)
- Curator's comments
- These are three fragments from a group of eleven tracing drawings showing details traced from the 1470/1 Passion painting by Hans Memling ('Turin Passion'), now at the Galleria Sabauda, Turin, inv.no.8; see Dirk De Vos, 'Hans Memling: The Complete Works', London, 1994, cat.no.11. This scene is taken from the central part of the panel. For the other fragments see also SL,5218.211-215; SL,5218.217-218; and SL,5218.223.
The eleven sheets are drawn on a transparent film, suggesting they were traced from the original painting by an unidentified draughtsman. The material was analysed in 2002 concluding that "the unknown material is made of animal glue/gelatine which had probably been produced as a film cast from a hot solution" [CA2002/57].
The painting was made around 1470, commissioned by Tommaso Portinari, a Florentine banker for the Medici family based in Bruges (he and his wife, Maria Baroncelli, are depicted as donors in the lower corners of the panel). The panel could have been displayed in the Portinari home or in their parish church in Bruges (St James). Tommaso Portinari moved back to Florence in 1497 where he died in 1501. It is not known if he took the painting with him or if the panel only left Bruges after his death.
The painting is then mentioned by Giorgio Vasari in his 1550 'Le Vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori' as in the collection of Cosimo de' Medici in Florence and commissioned by Portinari for his family church at Santa Maria Nuova. The painting was then donated to Pope Pius V between 1570 and 1572 who donated it to Dominican monastery of Bosco (plundered in 1796 by the French but hidden), after which it was given to King Vittorio Emanuele I in 1814. A copy of the painting is in the Lawrence Art Museum, Williamstown (US).
It is not clear if the present tracings were made while the painting was still in Bruges or later when it was in Florence. The drawing style suggest a draughtsman from the beginning of the sixteenth century. Colour notes in Dutch such as 'gout' (gold), 'rot' (red), 'wit' (white) point towards a Netherlandish draughtsman.
In an email [dated 14 May 2003] Fritz Koreny notes the stylistic similarities between these fragments and a sheet on vellum (but possibly the same tracing support as the present sheets) in the Rijksprentenkabinet, Amsterdam, inv.no.RP-T-1951-253 (showing St Barbara and scenes from her life); see K.G. Boon, 'Netherlandish Drawings of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries in the Rijksmuseum', Amsterdam, 1978, cat.no.534 (as Anonymous, "more likely that this drawing was done in Bruges in the second decade of the 16th century").
The Amsterdam sheet is described by Boon as in the same hand as a drawing on vellum (?) showing three scenes from the life of St Catherine (from a triptych), in the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, inv.no.12316; see E. Bock and J. Rosenberg, 'Staatliche Museen zu Berlin: Die Niederländischen Meister', Berlin, 1930, p.64, no illustration (as Anonymous, dated around 1510-20).
Some elements from the Memling's Turin Passion re-appear in later works, see for examples the scenes of the Flagellation of Christ and the Crowning with the Thorns which are copied exactly in the painting by the Master of the Bruges Passion Scenes in the National Gallery, London, inv.no.NG1087 (dated around 1510).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Transferred from the Department of Manuscripts.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number