This embroidered panel representing the Flagellation is a remarkable expression of the Florentine Gothic style. While the needlework has been attributed to the Florentine Geri Lapi, the designer has not been recognized.
Cooperation between painters and embroiderers is evidenced in Cennino Cennini's fifteenth-century "Il Libro dell'arte": "You sometimes have to supply embroiderers with designs of various sorts...Get these masters to put cloth or fine silk on stretchers for you...If it is white cloth, take your regular charcoals, and draw whatever you please. Then take your pen and your pure ink, and reinforce it, just as you do on panel with a brush." In some worn areas, underdrawing of the type described by Cennini can be discerned. More than twenty shades of silk and metallic threads give richness to the design, and the gold background is enlivened with raised scrolling vines.
The Flagellation is one of twelve panels attributed to Geri Lapi depicting the life of Christ, of which nine are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The format and subject indicate that the ensemble decorated an altar frontal, perhaps the antependium described in the inventory of Jean, duc de Berry.
Jean, Duke of Berry (d. 1416)(possibly); Marczell von Nemes (d. 1930), Budapest and Munich (sold 1931); Leopold Iklé, St. Gall, Switzerland; Charles F. Iklé (1879–1963), New York
Grönwoldt, Ruth. "Florentiner Stickereien in den Inventaren des Herzogs von Berry under Herzöge von Gurgund." Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz 10, no. 1 (1961). pp. 33, 51–52, fig. 10.
Ostoia, Vera K. The Middle Ages: Treasures from the Cloisters and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1969. no. 72E, pp. 156-159, 258, Object mislabeled as 64.27.19 in catalog.
Boehm, Barbara Drake. "Textiles in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 53, no. 3 (Winter 1995-1996).