Lot 116
  • 116

Domenico Robusti, called Domenico Tintoretto

25,000 - 35,000 USD
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  • Domenico Robusti, called Domenico Tintoretto
  • The Flagellation of Christ
  • oil on canvas
  • 58 3/4  by 49 in.; 149.2 by 124.5 cm. 


Luigi Gucci;
Dr. Fritz Haussmann, Berlin, New York, and Geneva;
Curt Fenner;
By whom sold, London, Christie's, 4 December 1964, lot 81 (as Jacopo Tintoretto);
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 13 December 1974, lot 160, to Reay (as Domenico Tintoretto);
Private collection;
Anonymous sale, Lucerne, Galerie Fischer, 20-23 May 1980, lot 32 (as Jacopo Tintoretto);
There acquired by the present owner. 


H. Voss, "Spätitalienische Gemälde in der Sammlung Dr. Fritz Hausmann in Berlin,"  Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, 1931/1932, reproduced pp. 162-163, plate 63 (as Tintoretto);
H. Tietze and E. Tietze-Conrat, The Drawings of Venetian Painters in the 15th and 16th Centuries, New York 1970, p. 302, under cat. no. 1843;
R. Palluchini and P. Rossi, Jacopo Tintoretto: Le opere sacre e profane, Venice 1974, vol. I, p. 252, cat. no. A100, vol. II, reproduced p. 674, fig. 723 (as Domenico Tintoretto);
J. Neumann, "Novy Tintorettuv Obraz na Prazskem Hrade. O souboru umelcovyc na nasi pude," Umeni, 1980, p. 215, reproduced fig. 22 (as Domenico Tintoretto).


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This work has not been recently restored. There is an original canvas join running vertically down the center of the right side. There is also a horizontal join above the head of foreground figure in the lower right. There is a patch on the reverse of the lining addressing a vertical break in the angel in the upper right. The painting is noticeably dirty and difficult to read under ultraviolet light at present. There are a few random spots of retouching throughout that are visible under ultraviolet light, particularly in the lower right. If and when the picture is cleaned, it does not seem that many additional restorations would become apparent beneath the varnish. The lining needs re-examination, but the picture will improve greatly with proper restoration.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

This large and striking canvas depicting the Flagellation of Christ is characteristic of the output of Domenico Tintoretto, the son of Jacopo Tintoretto (1519-1594), and can be placed stylistically towards the end of the sixteenth century.1  Domenico trained in his father’s workshop but gained recognition as an independent artist at a young age, having received entry to the Accademia di San Luca at seventeen.  The Flagellation of Christ remained a popular subject within the Tintoretto workshop, with examples by Jacopo known in the National Gallery of Prague and Domenico in the Musei Capitolini in Rome (inv. no. PC 36).  That the present work was once attributed to Jacopo Tintoretto is unsurprising, for Domenico closely emulated the style of his father early in his career and many of the works leaving Jacopo’s studio after 1580 are thought to have been collaborative efforts between the father and son.  For example, in a comparable depiction of The Flagellation of Christ in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (fig. 1), Jacopo is thought to have completed the central figure of Christ while Domenico had a hand in the the rest of the composition.2   Even though undoubtedly influenced by his father, Domenico completed his works with an individuality that distinguished him from his predecessor, often visible in the rendering of figures and their stances as well as the folds of fabric.  In the present work, Domenico lends a degree of immediacy and drama to the scene by contrasting the stable figure that anchors the composition with the dynamism of the surrounding figures.  A tranquil Christ stands at center, his movement restricted by the thin ropes that tie him to a marble column.  As He gazes downwards, two men with whips in their hand twist into powerful stances, although the scars on Christ’s body suggest that the flagellation has been ongoing for some time.  Further energy is added to the composition with the various figures that gather beyond the foreground and the putti that look down from above.

Drawings served as important teaching tools in the Tintoretto workshop, and a comparable figure of Christ can be found in a drawing, identified as likely a workshop production, formerly in the Dyce collection and now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (fig. 2).3 

1. See R. Palluchini and P. Rossi, under Literature.
2. See R. Echols and F. Ilchman, “Toward a New Tintoretto Catalogue, with a Checklist of revised attributions and a new Chronology,” in M. Falomir, ed., Jacopo Tintoretto, Madrid 2009, p. 135, n. 286.
3. Inv. no. Dyce.244.  See H. Tietze and E. Tietze-Conrat, under Literature, reproduced plate CXXVII.