Master Works on Paper from Five Centuries

Master Works on Paper from Five Centuries

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 17. The scourging of a male Saint .

Biagio Pupini, called Biagio dalle Lame

The scourging of a male Saint

Auction Closed

July 3, 10:51 AM GMT


10,000 - 15,000 GBP

Lot Details


Biagio Pupini, called Biagio dalle Lame

(active Bologna circa 1511 - 1575)

The scourging of a male Saint 

Pen and brown ink and wash, heightened with white;

bears old attribution in pen and ink, lower center: F. Parmagiano 

247 by 196 mm

Possibly Pierre Crozat (1665-1740), Paris (bears numbering, 8, similar to his - see L.3612);

William Bates (1824-1884), Birmingham (L.2604);

sale, London, Sotheby's, 9 July 1981, lot 3;  

sale, London, Christie's, 19 April 1994, lot 9;

with Adolphe Stein, Paris;

Private Collection, Belgium;

sale, New York, Sotheby's, 25 January 2006, lot 36,

where acquired by Jimmy Younger (1928-2022), Houston,

his estate sale, New York, Sotheby's, 31 January 2024, lot 208

Rotterdam, Kunsthal, European Master Drawings Unveiled, 2002, no. 78, reproduced.

The old attribution to Parmigianino (1503-1540) that is inscribed on this drawing is not surprising, given the clear stylistic debt to the Parmesan master. Parmigianino was in Bologna circa 1527-30, and was extremely influential in the formation of the younger generation of Emilian artists. As was frequently the case in his graphic œuvre, Pupini here adopts a technique very similar to that of Parmigianino, with abundant contrasting use of white heightening to enliven the elongated and elegant figures, defined by skillfully applied pen and ink, and different shades of brown wash.  

The construction of the space in the present sheet, with a figure seated in the foreground and steps leading up to the main, crowded figure group, is comparable to a panel by Pupini, depicting the Marriage of the Virgin, in Palazzo Pitti, Florence.1 First attributed to Pupini by Philip Pouncey, that painting is datable to the mid 1530s, on the basis of its debt to Parmigianino's style.  

In his Le pitture di Bologna, the biographer Carlo Cesare Malvasia (1616-1693) referred to Pupini as a pupil of Francesco Francia (1447-1517), though not a lot is known about his early training.2 Interestingly, Pupini was also a musician, and the 17th-century biographer Giovanni Antonio Bumaldo (1601-1671) described him as 'pictor et musicus perexcellens'.3

  1. Vera Fortunati Pietrantonio, Pittura Bolognese del '500, Bologna 1986, vol. I, p. 202, reproduced
  2. Carlo Cesare Malvasia, Le Pitture di Bologna, 1686, p. 58
  3. Giovanni Antonio Bumaldo, Minervalia Bonon. civium anademata seu Biblioteca Bononiensis.., Bologna 1641, p. 248