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ANDREA MELDOLLA, CALLED SCHIAVONE (ZARA 1510-15 – VENICE 1563)

Ecce Homo


Oil on canvas
121 x 147 cm (47 5/8 x 57 7/8 in.)

The subject of Christ Before Pontius Pilate was the theme most frequently tackled by Schiavone in his maturity. In fact we know of four different versions – currently in the Gallerie dell'Accademia in Venice, in the National Museum in Stockholm, in the Royal Collection at Hampton Court and in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna – which vary in terms of their composition and size and which may be dated to within a few years of each other between the second half of the 1550s and the early 1560s. This series can also ideally be set beside the Museo di Capodimonte's Christ Before Herod in which the figures' forms are pared down to their material substance and rendered with small, rapid brush strokes. In this picture Schiavone intensifies his chiaroscuro and dwells at length on the dark background and on brown hues barely enhanced by precious highlights meted out with immense subtlety.

Provenance: Private collection, Bergamo

Literature: F. L. RICHARDSON, Andrea Schiavone, Oxford 1980, cat. n. 250, pp. 66, 155, reproduced as fig. 198;
G.A. DELL’ACQUA, Il manierismo a Venezia, in «Arte Veneta», XXXV, 1981, p. 294;
R. PALLUCCHINI, Per la storia del manierismo a Venezia, in Da Tiziano a El Greco, per la storia del Manierismo a Venezia; 1540–1590, catalogue of the exhibition in Venice, 1981, Milan 1981, p.25;
P. ROSSI, in Da Tiziano a El Greco, per la storia del Manierismo a Venezia; 1540 – 1590, catalogue of the exhibition in Venice, 1981, Milan 1981, p. 136;
C.B. TIOZZO, Un inedito «Gesù dinanzi a Pilato» dello Schiavone, in «Notizie da Palazzo Albani», XII, 1983, p. 160, note no. 2;
E. RAMA, under the entry for Meldolla, Andrea detto Schiavone, in G. BRIGANTI (ed.), La pittura in Italia: Il Cinquecento, vol. II, Milan 1988, p. 768, republished in M. LUCCO (ed.), La pittura nel Veneto. Il Cinquecento, vol. 3, 199, p. 1321;
V. ROMANI, in A. BALLARIN, D. BANZATO (ed.), Da Bellini a Tintoretto: dipinti dei Musei Civici di Padova dalla metà del Quattrocento ai primi del Seicento, catalogue of the exhibition in Padua 1991–2, Milan 1991, p. 179, n. 100;
L. BORTOLOTTI, under the entry for Andrea Meldolla, detto lo Schiavone, in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, vol. 73 (2009), p. 270;
L. PUPPI, Andrea Schiavone nella bottega di Tiziano. In margine ad un inedito Ecce Homo, in «Cuadernos de arte de la Universidad de Granada», n. 40, 2009, p. 49;
L. PUPPI, in N. BARBONE PUGLIESE, A. DONATI, L. PUPPI (ed.), in Tiziano, Bordon e gli Acquaviva d’Aragona, catalogue of the exhibition in Bitonto, 2012–13, Foggia 2012, p. 284 cat. n. 16;
E.M. DAL POZZOLO, in E.M. DAL POZZOLO, L. PUPPI (ed.), Splendori del Rinascimento a Venezia: Schiavone tra Parmigianino, Tintoretto e Tiziano, catalogue of the exhibition in Venice, 2015–16, Milan 2015, cat. n. XII.3, pp. 99, 375-376, reproduced on p. 261.