This altarpiece was painted for the chapel of the Passion of Christ in the church of the Gesù, in Rome, the headquarters of the Jesuit order. Its style was intended to complement the austere interior space of the church. Pulzone’s canvas is conceived not as a narrative but as a meditation on the Entombment of Christ, in line with Ignatius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises. Details such as the tears of the Virgin, the crown of thorns held by Saint John, and the pallor of Christ’s body are presented to the viewer for contemplation. Pulzone’s brand of realism made him an important exponent of Counter Reformation art.
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Fig. 1. Cappella della Passione, Il Gesù, Rome
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Artist:Scipione Pulzone (Il Gaetano) (Italian, Gaeta, active by 1569–died 1598 Rome)
Medium:Oil on canvas
Dimensions:114 x 68 in. (289.6 x 172.7 cm)
Credit Line:Purchase, Anonymous Gift, in memory of Terence Cardinal Cooke, 1984
The Artist: Scipione Pulzone was the most gifted portrait painter in Rome in the last quarter of the century, in the years leading up to the arrival of Annibale Carracci and Caravaggio. He was also the major exponent of a kind of religious painting that consciously eliminated the more extreme signifiers of artistic accomplishment that had become part and parcel of Mannerist art: exaggeratedly complex poses, nudity, figures that emulated sculpture more than life. To a degree, Pulzone was part of a broad movement throughout Italy that sought to reform painting by returning to the study of nature and of the great painters of the early sixteenth century, especially Raphael. This movement, which had many guises and was represented by artists as diverse as Santi di Tito in Florence and Giovanni Battista Moroni in Bergamo, culminated in the genius of Federico Barocci—an artist of a very different sort, caliber, and influence from Pulzone but, like him, much appreciated both as a portrait painter and for the devotional efficacy of his altarpieces. The medical doctor/connoisseur/critic Giulio Mancini, writing around 1617–21, noted of Pulzone that he was an eminent portrait painter and "in finishing [his paintings] he had great patience, so that in bringing them to perfection there was not the smallest thing that he omitted." In his biography of the artist, Giovanni Baglione (1642) also commented on the extraordinary detailed character of Pulzone’s art, remarking that in painting hair and drapery his portraits seemed utterly truthful. It was this fastidious attention to detail and his resistance to what might be thought of as artistic embellishment that made his religious paintings so singular and that secured for him prestigious commissions from some of the most important patrons of the day. It might be said that his art employs a realism of detail to achieve a hyperreal effect. The figures in his paintings are clearly defined, the light preternaturally crystalline, bringing details into sharp focus and emphasizing the brilliance of the colors. The expressions and gestures of his figures are distilled to the point that time and reality seem suspended—so that the action seems take place outside or beyond real time. Thanks to a highly influential book written in 1957 by Federico Zeri (Pittura e Controriforma: L’arte senza tempo di Scipione da Gaeta), the character of Pulzone’s art has become closely associated with the Counter (or Catholic) Reformation and the objectives laid out at the Council of Trent.
The Picture: The figure of Christ, shown pale in death, has been lovingly laid on the lap of his mother who, with clasped hands, gazes at him, tears coursing down her cheeks. Christ’s head is supported by an older, bearded man identifiable as Joseph of Arimathea, who—according to the account found in the gospels—had arranged for Christ’s body to be taken down from the cross and buried in the tomb Joseph had prepared for his own burial. He wears a red robe that sets up a vivid contrast with Mary’s blue cloak. At the left we see Mary Magdalen, bent over, cradling Christ’s feet in her hands, her face tenderly placed next to his knee and her golden locks touching his feet. She too is weeping and has been posed so as to allude to the episode narrated in the Gospel of Luke (7:37–38): "And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment." (Traditionally, Mary Magdalen was associated with this woman, and was viewed as a converted prostitute.) Closely wedged between the heads of the Virgin Mary and Joseph of Arimathea is the figure of the apostle John—"the beloved disciple"—who holds the crown of thorns that had been placed on Christ’s head by Roman soldiers who had mocked him as King of the Jews. Behind this tightly knit group of figures, who have been placed close to the foreground to maximize their presence, stand four others: to the left, three holy women, who grieve; and to the right, Nicodemus, the Pharisee who had been converted to Christ’s teachings and is said by the author of the Gospel of John (19:39–40) to have been present at the Crucifixion. He is shown removing one of the two ladders from the cross, the base of which is shown at the left. In the distance a path leads through a landscape already enveloped by an advancing darkness. The sky is colored by the sunset, in accordance with the gospel accounts.
Style and Function: This important but seriously abraded painting was commissioned in 1589 as the altarpiece of a chapel in the Jesuit church of Il Gesù in Rome: the Passion Chapel, which is the second on the right (see fig. 1 above). It thus belonged to one of the key artistic enterprises of the late sixteenth century, the decoration of the Jesuits' mother church, and is considered a prime example of devotional art during the period of the Counter-Reformation (or Catholic reform, in response to the Protestant Reformation). Its style has been described as "senza tempo" (Zeri 1957)—which is to say, a "timeless" art that emphasized devotional function over those qualities that cultivated viewers had come to associate with artistic merit, such as mastery of elegant poses and complex foreshortenings, expressive intensity and dramatic moment. Critics such as the Marchigian ecclesiastic Giovanni Andrea Gilio, in his 1564 treatise about the "abuses of painting," criticized the inclusion of nude or elaborately posed figures or ingenious compositions that called attention to the artist's imaginative abilities rather than to the subject treated. What he advocated was painting that was honest, humble, devout, clear, and rigorously faithful to sanctioned texts. Pulzone's Lamentation can thus be seen as offering the viewer-worshipper a carefully conceived focus for meditation. Its highly descriptive character is intended to encourage the viewer-worshipper to shift his or her gaze from figure to figure, taking in the various expressive details. The figures become sites of meditation: the pallor of the dead Christ, beautiful even in death; the dignified sorrow and modesty of the Virgin; the affecting lament of Mary Magdalen, redolent with the memory of Christ’s forgiveness of her sinful past as she washed his feet with her tears; John sorrowfully contemplating the crown of thorns he holds—as though it were a sacred relic (there were, in fact, numerous relics of thorns with a claim to being from the crown of thorns); the silent weeping of the holy women, their expressions carefully varied; and the forlorn character of the landscape. Pulzone signed the picture on the edge of the cloth used to support Christ as what we might imagine as being a sort of personal testimony.
The Program and Patronage of the Chapel: According to artists’ biographer Giovanni Baglione (1642), the program for the decoration of the chapel, which—aside from the altarpiece, is still intact—was entrusted to the Jesuit painter-architect Giuseppe Valeriano (1542–1596). Although Bailey (2003) has argued that the program was, instead, entrusted to the painter-priest Giovanni Battista Fiammeri (ca. 1530–1606) working with Gaspare Celio (1571–1640), Gandolfi (2015) has insisted on Valeriano’s contribution, providing drawings. Beginning in August 1596, Celio was responsible for painting the lateral canvases and frescoes in the vault. The two lateral canvases show Christ on the road to Calvary and Christ nailed to the cross, while the cupola has frescoed pendentives and lunettes that depict angels holding the instruments of the Passion, the Evangelists, and further scenes of the Passion. The static composition and meditative quality of Pulzone's altarpiece contrasts with the more highly emotive, vigorous style of Celio's paintings and accords with the objectives of the Spiritual Exercises composed by Saint Ignatius Loyola between 1522 and 1524.
The patroness of the chapel was Bianca Mellini, the wife of Giovanni Lomellini. She came from an old Roman family and had been a benefactor of the church. Her role and dedication to the decoration of the chapel have been documented by Gandolfi (2015). Bianca Mellini was granted rights to the chapel in 1588, and over the next nine years paid out 2,000 scudi (see Bailey 2003 and Gandolfi 2015). Pulzone received payments amounting to 100 scudi on February 7 and 9, 1590; the picture is dated 1593 (and not 1591, as was repeatedly reported prior to Baumstark ) and it was probably in place by that February, when the chapel was consecrated by Cardinal Ludovico de Torres. The date on the picture is likely a reference to the dedication. The picture is explicitly mentioned during the papal visit of Pope Clement VIII on January 4, 1594: remarkably, he commented that Mary Magdalen should be altered "to have a more devout appearance" (Ad Cappellam Passionis. Imago Beatae Mariae Magdalena ibidem depicti in magis devotam speciem redigatur). In January 1594 Bianca Mellini gave further sums to Valeriano for "the canvases of the pictures"—thus for the lateral pictures. However, delays were such that when she drew up her will in 1595, asserting her desire to be buried in the still incomplete chapel ("non perfecta"), she provided for further funds. A report of the unfinished state of the chapel was drawn up in June 1596 and it was at this point that Valeriano entrusted the painting to Gaspare Celio, who was summoned from Naples. Celio received payments between 1596 and May 1597. The marble decoration was contracted in 1601. In 1615 Bianca Mellini again insisted on her inalienable patronage of the chapel and her desire to be buried in it. Following her death, rights to the chapel were inherited by her niece Girolama Zappata, the wife of Asdrubale Cardelli, and patronal rights thus passed to the Cardelli family. This ended by creating a dispute between the Cardelli and the Jesuits over ownership of Pulzone’s altarpiece, which was removed from the chapel not long after 1680 and substituted with a canvas painted by Andrea Pozzo of Saint Francis Borgia—probably in place by 1682 (Gandolfi 2015). In turn, this work was replaced with a wood crucifix. In September 2014 yet another new altarpiece showing the Descent from the Cross by the Bosnian artist Safet Zec was dedicated. Pulzone’s altarpiece thus entered the collection of the Cardelli family and is described in an inventory of Count Francesco Cardelli in 1778. Most likely sold by the Cardelli toward the end of the eighteenth century, in 1841 it was described in admiring terms in the catalogue of the collection of Cardinal Joseph Fesch in Palazzo Falconieri, Rome. It then re-entered the art market and was identified by Zeri (1957) as the altarpiece for Il Gesù.
Keith Christiansen 2018
Inscription: Signed and dated (right, on cloth held by Joseph of Arimathea): SCIPIO CAIET[A] / NVS FACI[E] / BAT AN[NO] DNI / MD.XCIII
Cappella della Passione, Il Gesù, Rome (by 1594–probably ca. 1680); by descent from Bianca Mellini, patron of the chapel, to the Cardelli family, Rome; conte Francesco Maria Cardelli, Rome (until d. 1778; inv., 1778); Cardinal Joseph Fesch, Palazzo Falconieri, Rome (until d. 1839; cat., 1841, no. 2419); ?[Hammer Galleries, New York, by 1946]; private collection, New York (until 1951; sale, Kende Galleries, New York, March 3, 1951, no. 55); ?Father Hickey, Saint Mary's Cloister, Detroit (until about 1975; ?sold to Corsini); [Piero Corsini, New York, until 1984; sold to The Met]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Age of Caravaggio," February 5–April 14, 1985, no. 50.
Naples. Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte. "Caravaggio e il suo tempo," May 14–June 30, 1985, no. 50.
Milwaukee. Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University. "Jesuit Art in North American Collections," March 7–June 16, 1991, no. 10.
Boston. McMullen Museum of Art. "Saints and Sinners: Caravaggio and the Baroque Image," February 1–May 24, 1999, unnumbered cat.
Gaeta. Museo Diocesano. "Scipione Pulzone: da Gaeta a Roma alle corti europee," June 27–October 27, 2013, no. 35 (as "Pietà").
Pope Clement VIII. Papal visit. January 4, 1594 [Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu, Rome, FG 545, 8a; see Bailey 2003, pp. 211, 346 n. 165], remarks that the Magdalen should be altered to have a more devout appearance.
Jesuit memorial. [17th century] [Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu, Rome, FG 545, 2a; published in Bailey 2003, pp. 209, 344 n. 146], states that the Cappella della Passione in Il Gesù was painted by Pulzone, with other works in the chapel by Gaspare Celio after designs by Fiammeri.
Jesuit memorial. ca. 1616 [Archivum Romanum Societatis Iesu, Rome, AG Busta I, 78; published in Bailey 2003, pp. 209, 344 n. 141], notes that the patron of the chapel was Bianca Mellini Lomellini and that work was begun before 1595.
Gaspare Celio. Memoria delli nomi dell'artefici delle pitture, che sono in alcune chiese, facciate, e palazzi di Roma. repr., 1967. Naples, 1638, p. 41, lists it as by Scipione Pulzone above the altar in the Cappella della Passione in Il Gesù; notes that the ceiling fresco and wall paintings are by himself.
Gio[vanni]. Baglione. Le vite de' pittori, scultori et architetti: dal Pontificato di Gregorio XIII del 1572 in fino a' tempi di Papa Urbano Ottavo nel 1642. Rome, 1642, pp. 54, 83, describes it as in the second chapel on the right in Il Gesù, and attributes it to Scipione Pulzone; credits Giuseppe Valeriano with the design of the paintings executed by Celio.
Giov. Battista Mola. Breve racconto delle miglior opere d'architettura, scultura et pittura fatte in Roma et alcuni fuor di Roma. 1663, p. 189 [Biblioteca Vaticana and Biblioteca Comunale, Viterbo; published in Quellen und Schriften zur bildenden Kunst, vol. 1, ed. Karl Noehles, 1966, Berlin, p. 118].
Filippo Titi. Studio di pittura, scoltura, et architettura, nelle chiese di Roma. Rome, 1674 [reprint, Bruno Contardi and Serena Romano, eds., Florence, 1987, vol. 1, p. 100], attributes the altarpiece to Pulzone and the other paintings to Celio after designs by Fiammeri.
Filippo Titi. Ammaestramento utile, e curioso di pittura scoltura et architettura nelle chiese di Roma. Rome, 1686, p. 149.
Filippo de' Rossi. Descrizione di Roma moderna formata nvovamente. Rome, 1697, p. 532.
Filippo de' Rossi. Descrizione di Roma antica; Descrizione di Roma moderna. Vol. 2, Descrizione di Roma moderna. Rome, 1708, p. 558.
Ottavio Pancirolo, Francesco Cecconi, and Francesco Posterla. Roma sacra, e moderna: già descritta dal Pancirolo ed accresciuta da Francesco Posterla. Rome, 1725, p. 606.
Pietro Rossini. Il Mercurio errante. 7th ed. Rome, 1750, p. 161.
Filippo Titi. Descrizione delle pitture, sculture, e architetture esposte al pubblico in Roma. Rome, 1763, p. 173.
Inventory of conte Francesco Cardelli. 1778 [Archivio Storico Capitolino, Rome, Archivio Cardelli, Div. I, tomo 15, c.n.n.; see Gandolfi 2015], as "Quadro da sette e 12 per alto rappresentante la Pietà con le Marie con cornice liscia antica dorata".
Catalogue des tableaux composant la galerie de feu son éminence le cardinal Fesch. Rome, 1841, p. 100, no. 2419, as "'Jésus mort est déposé sur les genoux de la Vierge.' Les personnages de ce tableau sont plus grands que nature. Cette composition due au pinceau de Scipion Gaetano, se fait remarquer par sa belle entente et une profonde expression de douleur. Le style en est noble et large, le coloris d'un beau ton, et l'exécution parfaite dans toutes les parties," 8 pieds 9 pouces high by 5 pieds 9 pouces wide.
Pio Pecchiai. Il Gesù di Roma. Rome, 1952, pp. 93, 105–6, states that when it was removed from the chapel, it was replaced by a wooden crucifix.
Federico Zeri. Pittura e controriforma: l'arte senza tempo di Scipione da Gaeta. Turin, 1957, pp. 68–69, 73, 79, 82–83, 111 n. 47, figs. 90 and 91 (overall and detail), as signed and dated 1591; says that it was removed from the altar of the Chapel of the Passion in the seventeenth century and that he rediscovered it in a private collection in New York; notes the importance of the guidance and ideas of the Jesuit architect Valeriano who also acted as Pulzone's agent for this picture; discusses the eclecticism of the painting's sources but stresses that a classicizing ideal predominates.
Milton Joseph Lewine. "The Roman Church Interior, 1527–1580." PhD diss., Columbia University, 1960, p. 247, notes that this altarpiece was replaced by a painting of Saint Francis Borgia by Andrea Pozzo sometime between 1674 and 1686, and that the Pozzo was later replaced by a gilded wooden crucifix.
S. J. Freedberg. Painting in Italy: 1500 to 1600. Harmondsworth, England, 1971, p. 459.
Howard Hibbard. "'Ut picturae sermones': The First Painted Decorations of the Gesù." Baroque Art: The Jesuit Contribution. Ed. Rudolph Wittkower and Irma B. Jaffe. New York, 1972, pp. 38, 44, fig. 27, calls it "moving and sharply focused," and suggests that its concentrated emotionality foreshadows the late Pietàs of Annibale Carracci.
Erasmo Vaudo. Scipione Pulzone da Gaeta, pittore. Gaeta, 1976, pp. 37–38, fig. 39, discusses this picture in relation to Counter-Reformation aesthetics.
Maria Letizia Casanova. Arte a Gaeta: dipinti dal XII al XVIII secolo. Exh. cat., Palazzo De Vio, Gaeta. Florence, 1976, p. 92.
Morton Colp Abromson. Painting in Rome during the Papacy of Clement VIII (1592–1605): A Documented Study. PhD diss., Columbia University. New York, 1981, pp. 226–27.
Luigi Spezzaferro. "Il recupero del Rinascimento." Storia dell'arte italiana. part 2, vol. 2, part 1, Turin, 1981, pp. 234, 238.
Keith Christiansen inThe Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1983–1984. New York, 1984, pp. 62–63, ill. (color), states that it is dated 1591, but was underway in 1590 when Scipione received partial payment for the altarpiece; calls it one of Pulzone's most affecting works and stresses that it fulfills the ideals of the first building campaign at Il Gesù; suggests that the artist's signature on the hem of the cloth that Joseph of Arimathea wraps around Christ's torso points to the special importance that the artist attached to this work.
Alessandro Zuccari inThe Age of Caravaggio. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, pp. 172–73, no. 50, ill. (color) [Italian ed., "Caravaggio e il suo tempo," Naples], discusses the iconography in terms of Saint Ignatius's "Spiritual Exercises" and associates the composition with the Saint's method of the "compositio loci".
Andrea Bacchi et al. inLa pittura in Italia: il Cinquecento. Ed. Giuliano Briganti. revised and expanded ed. [Milan], 1988, vol. 2, p. 462, note that here Pulzone adopted a pictorial idiom rich in pathos, perhaps after coming in contact with the Lombard Giovan Battista Pozzo, who painted the angels in the vault of the Madonna della Strada chapel, also in the Gesù.
Anna Lo Bianco inLa pittura in Italia: il Cinquecento. Ed. Giuliano Briganti. revised and expanded ed. [Milan], 1988, vol. 2, p. 815.
J. Patrice Marandel inJesuit Art in North American Collections. Exh. cat., Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University. Milwaukee, 1991, pp. 17, 23, 45, no. 10, ill. (overall) and color detail on cover.
S. J. Freedberg. Painting in Italy 1500–1600. 3rd ed. New Haven, 1993, pp. 661, 664, discusses it along with Pulzone's other works of the period, noting that the schematization of these pictures conveys "after the first impact, a sense of vacancy".
Laura Russo inRoma di Sisto V: Le arti e la cultura. Ed. Maria Luisa Madonna. Exh. cat., Palazzo Venezia, Rome. Rome, 1993, pp. 173, 175, dates it 1597 and notes its importance in understanding the artistic relationship between Pulzone and Giuseppe Valeriano.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 131, ill.
Loren Partridge. The Art of Renaissance Rome 1400–1600. New York, 1996, pp. 98–99, 101, ill. (color), sees it is an example of "arte senza tempo" (art without time)—vaguely classicizing, neither modern nor historical variations on works of the high renaissance which, remain "the basis of much saccharine religious art to this day"; observes that works of this kind, in the decorously restrained and simpler style of the Counter Reformation, was intended primarily to stir piety in viewers with little aesthetic sophistication.
Fiorenza Rangoni inThe Dictionary of Art. Ed. Jane Turner. Vol. 25, New York, 1996, p. 730.
Augusto Donò. "Scipione Pulzone (1545–1598), il pittore della 'Madonna della Divina Provvidenza'." Barnabiti Studi 13 (1996), pp. 17–18, 72–74, no. 36 II.
Reinhold Baumstark inRom in Bayern: Kunst und Spiritualität der ersten Jesuiten. Ed. Reinhold Baumstark. Exh. cat., Bayerisches Nationalmuseum. Munich, 1997, pp. 454–55, 458–61, no. 137, ill. (color), reviews the history of the chapel and the Jesuit program of the altarpiece and corrects the date in the inscription to 1593.
Gauvin Alexander Bailey et al. inSaints and Sinners: Caravaggio and the Baroque Image. Ed. Franco Mormando. Exh. cat., McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College. Chestnut Hill, Mass., 1999, pp. 29–30, 81 nn. 14–15, 113–14, 129 nn. 41–50, pp. 157–58, 173 nn. 42–44, colorpl. 1, note that the moment shown in the painting, and the inclusion of Nicodemus, correspond to verse no. 298 of St. Ignatius's "Exercises"; find the individualization of each figure's emotions and gestures compelling, contesting Partridge's (1996) characterization of this work as "saccharine religious art"; point out that the artist uses the same model for the figure of the Magdalen in the MMA picture and the Crucifixion in the Chiesa Nuova, Rome.
Gauvin Alexander Bailey. Between Renaissance and Baroque: Jesuit Art in Rome, 1565–1610. Toronto, 2003, pp. 198, 208–11, 344 nn. 142, 144, 146, p. 345 n. 155, fig. 99, attributes the design of Celio's paintings to Fiammeri rather than Valeriano.
Alexandra Dern. Scipione Pulzone (ca. 1546–1598). Weimar, 2003, pp. 75, 162–63, no. 54, pl. 72.
Philippe Costamagna. "Les tableaux des écoles d'Italie centrale du XVIe siècle dans la collection Fesch." Le goût pour la peinture italienne autour de 1800, prédécesseurs, modèles et concurrents du cardinal Fesch. Ed. Olivier Bonfait et al. Ajaccio, 2006, pp. 75, 80 nn. 87, 88, fig. 4, identifies it as no. 2419 in the 1841 catalogue of the collection of Cardinal Fesch; notes that it is not known when the cardinal acquired it and that the picture was not included in the Fesch sale of 1845.
Patrizia Tosini inFederico Zeri, dietro l'immagine: opere d'arte e fotografia. Ed. Anna Ottani Cavina. Exh. cat., Museo Civico Archeologico, Bologna. Turin, 2009, pp. 70, 74, fig. 1.
Xavier F. Salomon inScipione Pulzone: da Gaeta a Roma alle corti europee. Ed. Alessandra Acconci and Alessandro Zuccari. Exh. cat., Museo Diocesano, Gaeta. Rome, 2013, pp. 362–65, no. 35, ill. (overall in color and detail in b&w).
Anna Imponente inScipione Pulzone: da Gaeta a Roma alle corti europee. Ed. Alessandra Acconci and Alessandro Zuccari. Exh. cat., Museo Diocesano, Gaeta. Rome, 2013, p. 21.
Antonio Vannugli inScipione Pulzone: da Gaeta a Roma alle corti europee. Ed. Alessandra Acconci and Alessandro Zuccari. Exh. cat., Museo Diocesano, Gaeta. Rome, 2013, pp. 30, 57 n. 36.
Alessandro Zuccari inScipione Pulzone: da Gaeta a Roma alle corti europee. Ed. Alessandra Acconci and Alessandro Zuccari. Exh. cat., Museo Diocesano, Gaeta. Rome, 2013, pp. 84–85.
Gianni Carlo Sciolla inScipione Pulzone: da Gaeta a Roma alle corti europee. Ed. Alessandra Acconci and Alessandro Zuccari. Exh. cat., Museo Diocesano, Gaeta. Rome, 2013, p. 182.
Adriano Amendola inScipione Pulzone: da Gaeta a Roma alle corti europee. Ed. Alessandra Acconci and Alessandro Zuccari. Exh. cat., Museo Diocesano, Gaeta. Rome, 2013, pp. 218, 222–23.
Opher Mansour. "Censure and Censorship in Rome, c. 1600: The Visitation of Clement VIII and the Visual Arts." The Sensuous in the Counter-Reformation Church. Ed. Marcia B. Hall and Tracy E. Cooper. New York, 2013, pp. 145–49, fig. 26, notes that despite Clement's (1594) criticism of the figure of Mary Magdalen, there is no evidence that it was altered.
Keith Christiansen. "La création tardive d'une collection de peintures baroques au Metropolitan Museum of Art / Creating a Baroque Collection at the Metropolitan Late in the Game." Aux origines d'un goût: la peinture baroque aux États-Unis / Creating the Taste for Baroque Painting in America. Paris, 2015, pp. 67, 72.
Clare Robertson. Rome 1600: The City and the Visual Arts under Clement VIII. New Haven, 2015, pp. 187, 189, 205, fig. 173 (color).
Alessandro Zuccari. "Anacronismi e modernità nell'arte di Scipione Pulzone." Scipione Pulzone e il suo tempo. Ed. Alessandro Zuccari. Rome, 2015, pp. 13, 23, 30 n. 94, colorpl. XXI, relates it to Pulzone's "Crucifixion" in Santa Maria in Vallicella, Rome.
Marco Pupillo. "Scipione Pulzone e Federico Zuccari in conflitto: ampliamenti e revisioni." Scipione Pulzone e il suo tempo. Ed. Alessandro Zuccari. Rome, 2015, pp. 78–79.
Riccardo Gandolfi. "La Cappella della Passione: Scipione Pulzone e Gaspare Celio nella Chiesa del Gesù." Scipione Pulzone e il suo tempo. Ed. Alessandro Zuccari. Rome, 2015, pp. 181, 184–85, 187–89 nn. 28, 34, identifies Bianca Mellini's heir as her niece Girolama Zappata, who married Asdrubale Cardelli; cites a document of 1680 produced during a court case between the Cardelli family and the Jesuits that seems to indicate that the altarpiece was removed from the chapel around that year; cites a second document stating that the painting is still the property of the "Casa Cardelli" in 1734, and identifies it in the 1778 inventory of Francesco Cardelli; notes that the Cardelli collection was largely dispersed during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, at which time this painting was probably acquired by Cardinal Fesch.
Federica di Napoli Rampolla. "La 'Crocifissione' di Santa Maria in Vallicella: restauro, tecnica e riflessioni." Scipione Pulzone e il suo tempo. Ed. Alessandro Zuccari. Rome, 2015, p. 253, suggests that the same preparatory drawing was used for the head of Christ in this picture and in the Vallicella "Crucifixion".
Old Masters: Day Sale. Christie's, London. December 9, 2016, p. 94, under no. 170.
Old Masters, Including Old Master & British Drawings & Watercolours. Christie's, London. December 8, 2017, p. 78, under no. 155.
Gauvin Alexander Bailey inThe Holy Name: Art of the Gesù, Bernini and His Age. Ed. Linda Wolk-Simon and Christopher M. S. Johns. Exh. cat., Fairfield University Art Museum, Fairfield, Conn. Philadelphia, 2018, p. 103, fig. 8 (color).
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