The Flagellation; (reverse) The Madonna of Mercy

Artist: Girolamo Romanino (Italian, Brescia 1484/87–1560 Brescia)

Date: ca. 1540

Medium: Distemper and oil(?) on canvas

Dimensions: 70 7/8 x 47 1/2 in. (180 x 120.7 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Purchase, Anonymous Bequest, by exchange, 1989

Accession Number: 1989.86


This emotionally charged depiction of the flagellation of Christ was painted about 1540 as a processional banner for a confraternity, or lay religious brotherhood; the reverse side has a damaged image of the Madonna of Mercy surrounded by its kneeling members. The artist’s sensitivity to light and his brilliantly descriptive brushwork are indebted to the work of Titian, but his interest in vehement expression was inspired by northern prints, especially those by Dürer. The picture was almost certainly known to Caravaggio, who must have seen it during his youth, which he spent in the region near Brescia. For more information about this painting, including an image of the reverse, visit