Sodoma was trained in Lombardy, but most of his career was spent in Siena, where he was, together with Beccafumi, the major figure. This work dates from the last decade of his life. The use of contrasting figure types and sfumato derives from his study of the works of Leonardo da Vinci and has a powerfully emotive effect. The turbaned figure is Pilate, who presents the resigned but dignified Christ to the viewer as an object of contemplation.
Though cut down, the late-sixteenth-century frame is of fine quality.
[Giovanni Battista Camuccini, Palazzo Cesi, Rome, by about 1851–53; ms. cat., about 1851, room 3, no. 6, as "Gesù presentato al Popolo," by Gio. Paolo Lomazzo; sold to Northumberland]; Algernon Percy, 4th Duke of Northumberland, Northumberland House, London, later Alnwick Castle (from 1853); [Agnew, London, until 1969; sold to Lunde]; Asbjorn R. Lunde, New York, later Riverdale, N.Y. (1969–96)
Tito Barberi. Catalogo ragionato della Galleria Camuccini in Roma. [ca. 1851], room 3, picture no. 6 [manuscript copies in the archive of the Camuccini heirs at Cantalupo and in the Alnwick Castle Archives], as "Gesù presentato al Popolo," by Gio. Paolo Lomazzo.
Keith Christiansen in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1996–1997." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 55 (Fall 1997), p. 27, ill. (color), attributes it to Sodoma and dates it to the last decade of his career.
The frame is from Siena and dates to about 1540 (see Additional Images, figs. 1–3). A cassetta type frame made of poplar, it is water gilded overall and retains its lap joins in the frieze on the upper left and lower right corners. The sight edge molding is ornamented with a row of carved pearls flanked by an ogee on the inside and a stepped cavetto on the other side. Carved cauliculi arabesques scroll along the frieze interrupted on each of four sides only by an irregularly placed mascaron. These masks would have served as a center point of the carving design before the frame was reduced in size, evident now in the strong mitre cuts visible at the lower left and upper right. A small hollow rises to the half round top edge which slopes back in a hollow to the straight side. The present gilding may have been applied in the nineteenth century.
[Timothy Newbery with Cynthia Moyer 2017; further information on this frame can be found in the Department of European Paintings files]
Artist: Follower of Sodoma (Giovanni Antonio Bazzi) (Italian, Vercelli 1477–1549 Siena)Date: early–mid-16th centuryMedium: Pen and brown ink, brown wash, over black chalk (recto); pen and brown ink, black chalk (verso)Accession: 1975.1.421On view in:Not on view