RD.20 Lamentation

RD.20 Lamentation

London, Kate Ganz Limited (1984).


Red chalk, 13.3 x 12.  Inscribed in ink in the lower right corner: 103.

PROVENANCE: Archibald G. Russell.  Kenneth Clark.  Sale, Sotheby’s, London, 19 April 1967.


Grossmann, in Between Renaissance and Baroque, 1965, 110, no. 369, as Rosso, in his Roman period.

Béguin, 1966, 58, as not by Rosso.


The attribution to Rosso, which was apparently held by Clark, was supported by Grossmann by comparison with the Group of Nude Warriors in a Landscape in the Louvre (Fig.RD.31) that he accepted as Rosso’s in his Roman period.  Béguin found this connection questionable, adding that the attribution to Rosso did not hold up in comparison to Rosso’s drawings of the Roman period, such as the Edinburgh study for Eve in the Cesi Chapel (Fig.D.10).  I do not believe the Louvre drawing is by Rosso.  Nor do any drawings certainly by Rosso done at any time in his career support an attribution to him.

Graphically the Lamentation resembles the Copy of an Ignudo by Michelangelo at Chatsworth (Fig.RD.4), although the Lamentation is looser in its shading and with forms that are also less clearly outlined.  The differences of subject and the fact that the Chatsworth drawing is a copy after Michelangelo would account for some dissimilarities.  But the degree of generalization in the Lamentation seems to indicate a different artist.  Whereas the Chatsworth drawing may be by Berruguete, the Lamentation could have been done by Pedro Machuca.  Stylistically it reminds me of his Madonna del Suffragio of 1517 in Madrid (Fig.Machuca, Suffragio), and the Madonna in Glory in St. Petersburg (Fig.RP.22a) that has been attributed to Rosso but that Longhi, 1969, thought might be by Machuca.  The figures in the Lamentation bear some resemblance to figures in the drawing of The Burning of a City in the Louvre, which has been attributed to Machuca (Fig.Machuca, City).1


1 Louvre, Inv. 591.  See Roseline Bacou, in Autour de Raphael, Dessins et peintures du Musée du Louvre, exh. cat., Paris, 1983-1984, 112-113, no. 131, with Fig.