The Lamentation

Scipione Pulzone (Il Gaetano) Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 620

Like the Carracci family, Pulzone combined a return to the study of nature with the classical ideals of ancient sculpture and Raphael. The monumental, austere style of this important altarpiece was intended to complement its original destination, the chapel of the Passion of Christ in the Church of the Gesù, in Rome. It is conceived not as a narrative subject, but as a way for believers to meditate on the Entombment of Christ, in line with Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises (1548). Despite its extreme stylization, realistic details such as the tears of the Virgin, the crown of thorns held by Saint John, and the pallor of Christ’s body were each opportunities for focused contemplation on Christ’s sacrifice.

The Lamentation, Scipione Pulzone (Il Gaetano) (Italian, Gaeta, active by 1569–died 1598 Rome), Oil on canvas

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.