Giannicola di Paolo, called Lo Smicca - Christ as the Man of Sorrows

Giannicola di Paolo, called Lo Smicca - Christ as the Man of Sorrows - image-1
Giannicola di Paolo, called Lo Smicca - Christ as the Man of Sorrows - image-1

Giannicola di Paolo, called Lo Smicca

Christ as the Man of Sorrows

Oil on panel. 48 x 50.5 cm.

Christ is depicted half-length, with pale grey skin, rising from his tomb. With a red beard and curly hair falling down on to his shoulders, a cruciform halo and a crown of thorns, the head leaning to one side and blood dripping from the open wounds, the painter has graphically rendered Christ's suffering. Although He is unquestionably dead, energy emanates from the figure; the painter has depicted the moment just after the Crucifixion and subsequent death, but the standing figure seems almost about to be resurrected. The work is clearly divided into a foreground, middle ground and background, with the central figure of Christ forming the focal point of both the composition and the narrative.
Professor Andrea de Marchi attributes the present panel to a pupil of Perugino, Giannicola di Paolo, active in his Perugian workshop. Giannicola´s typology of the figures, the constriction of space, use of perspective and the colour palette are deeply influenced by Perugino's ideals of balance and symmetry. The present work - especially its realistic representation of Christ, his facial features and posture - is much inspired by Perugino's Cristo in Pietà (1493 -1498), previously in the Cappella of the Palazzo dei Priori and now in the Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria. Other comparisons can be made with Perugino's Man of Sorrows with Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Joseph of Arimathea (1470-1490), previously in the Church of San Pier Maggiore in Florence and now in the Collection of the Cassa di Risparmio in the same city.
According to Vasari, Perugino made use of cartoons as a basis for his compositions. Starting from the existing models, the artist repeated his motifs in order to carry out the great number of commissions he received. Catherina Higgitt, amongst others, has suggested that Giannicola had access to Perugino's modelli, which he copied to make his own drawings. This would explain the striking similarities to the above mentioned works by Perugino. The present panel is thought to date to around 1520. At that time, Giannicola di Paolo was still working under the influence of his master, but his style had evolved and absorbed some of the influences of Raphael and the High Renaissance. The picture compares very closely to the Baptism of Christ created in 1516 for the Collegio del Cambio in Perugia and can be easily inserted into a stylistic timeline between the Ognissanti Altarpiece (1506) and the Adoration of the Magi (latter first half of the 15th Century), now in the Louvre.


Continental private collection.

Lot 2010 Dα

15.000 € - 17.000 €

Request condition report