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Study for an Ecce Homo
Gambara, Lattanzio
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Gambara, Lattanzio

Brescia, 1530 - Brescia, 1574

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Study for an Ecce Homo

Third quarter of the XVI century. Pencil, Grey-brown ink on yellow paper.
Not on display

The authorship of these two small but lively compositional studies -D1817 and D1818- has given rise to some disagreement. The most recent suggestion that they are the work of the Brescian Lattanzio Gambara, has received support among specialists, though the purpose for which they were made remains uncertain. They are evidently alternatives for the same composition, perhaps intended for a large-scale fresco decoration. Drawing D1817 may have been rejected because the artist thought that the figure of Christ flanked by his captors appeared too far to the right and that too much empty space had been left between the protagonist and the deriding crowd gathered in front of him; this could even be the explanation for the angry smudge of brown ink in this area, if indeed this damage was due to the artist himself and not the negligence of some later owner. Likewise, the drawing of the buildings behind is less resolved, its doorways and arches less subtly complimentary to the grouping of the figures in front. In drawing D1818, on the other hand, the various elements making up the overall design are in harmony, including the intervals between the foreground figures and the relationship of these to the height of the buildings in the background.

As a draftsman, Gambara´s was influenced by the style of his early masters Giulio and Antonio Campi, whose work strongly reflects the legacy of Parmigianino. In these two little studies by Gambara there is indeed a Parmigianinesque ingredient, above all in the elegant poses of the marionette-like figures and in the slightly staccato effect of the pen line. The present two sketches fit well in style with the verso of a double-sided pen-and-ink study by Gambara in the Albertina,Vienna, which also still strongly reflect the influence of the Campi (inv. no. 2201; Birke and Kertesz, 1992-7, II, p. 1156). Following Gambara´s transfer to Brescia, where he became Romanino´s assistant and collaborator, his work took on more of the rustic force of the older painter´s highly idiosyncratic style.

As Giulio Bora has pointed out, three drawings by Gambara in the collection of the Accademia Carrara at Bergamo appear to be en suite with the two in the Prado: The Last Supper, an Unidentified Scene in a Town Square, with a Man being Crowned, and Soldiers outside a Military Camp (inv. nos. 1668, 407 and 1241, respectively) (Text drawn from Turner, N.: From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci. A century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Art Services International-Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, p. 116).

Technical data

Related artworks

Study for an Ecce Homo
Pencil, Grey-brown ink on yellow paper, Third quarter of the XVI century
Gambara, Lattanzio
Inventory number
Gambara, Lattanzio
Study for an Ecce Homo
Third quarter of the XVI century
Pencil; Grey-brown ink
Yellow paper
Height: 135 mm; Width: 87 mm
Bequest of Pedro Fernández Durán y Bernaldo de Quirós, 1931

Bibliography +

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., I Grandi Disegni Italiani Nelle Collezioni Di Madrid, Silvana Editoriale D'Arte, Milán, 1978, pp. 15 / lám. 8; 48.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de dibujos. Dibujos italianos del siglo XVI (por Nicholas Turner, con la colaboración de José Manuel Matilla), V, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2004, pp. 116, 302.

Turner, Nicholas, From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci. A century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Art Services International, Chicago, 2008, pp. 116,302.

Other inventories +

Inv. Legado Pedro Fernández Durán, 1931. Núm. 306.

Exhibitions +

De Miguel Ángel a Annibale Carracci. Un siglo de Dibujos Italianos en el Museo del Prado
25.10.2008 - 26.07.2009

Un siglo de dibujos italianos en el Museo del Prado. De Miguel Ángel a Annibale Carracci
23.11.2004 - 13.02.2005

Update date: 04-11-2021 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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