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Giambologna

Giambologna.jpg

Giambologna | Florence 1529-1608 | The Flagellation of Christ c.1579 | Red wax relief on a wooden ground | 48.2 x 73.7 x 9.6cm | Gift of the Queensland Museum 1965 | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Giambologna, 'The Flagellation of Christ', c.1579

Giambologna
Florence 1529-1608
The Flagellation of Christ c.1579
Red wax relief on a wooden ground
48.2 x 73.7 x 9.6cm
Gift of the Queensland Museum 1965
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Giambologna

The Flagellation of Christ c.1579

Giambologna was born Jean Bologne in Douai, Flanders, but spent most of his adult life in Florence, where he enjoyed the artistic patronage of the wealthy and powerful Medici family. He was one of the most important and influential sculptors of the sixteenth century.

The Flagellation of Christ c.1579 is the wax and wood study for a cast bronze panel, originally designed for the Grimaldi Chapel in the San Francesco di Castelletto, in Genoa, Italy. It is one of a series of seven reliefs depicting the passion of Christ.

The sculpture is characteristic of Giambologna's style, which achieves a balance between the classical geometry of the Renaissance and the sense of spiralling movement associated with the mannerist art of which he was an early exponent.

From the point of view of composition and perspective, the scene is rigorously planned, with Christ tied to a central column and flanked by two guards on either side. Pontius Pilate has his back to us, and holds a whip poised to strike.

The artist's use of receding perspective and the symmetry of the architectural background emphasise the pathos of the human forms.