The Lamentation over the Body of Christ
engraving, circa 1515-16, on laid paper, without watermark, a good impression, showing some wear in places
Sheet 218 x 172 mm.
With Colnaghi & Co., London.
Eric G. Stanley (1923-2018), Oxford; acquired from the above on 25 September 1978.
Bartsch 37
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Lot Essay

In the foreground, the lifeless body of Christ lays across the lap of two of the three Marys, who have joined the Virgin in her lament, while Saint John the Baptist and others have solemnly gathered behind them. The engraving is based on a pen and brown ink drawing by Raphael, now at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (inv. no. WA1846.170). The drawing records the artist's first idea for a painting, which was subsequently rejected and and the subject changed from a Lamentation to a Deposition. Raphael's final, painted version - today known as the Borghese Entombment (Galleria Borghese, Rome; 170) was the central panel for the altarpiece of San Francesco al Prato in Perugia, the so-called Pala Baglioni. It was commissioned by the noblewoman Atalanta Baglioni in commemoration of her son Grifonetto, who was murdered in a family feud in 1500, at the age of 23. The painting was completed in 1507. It was Raphael's last commission for Perugia, where he had been trained by Perugino.

The pained expressions of the Virgin and Mary Magdalene, representing the anguish and sorrow of Grifonetto's mother and his young widow Zenobia, can be contemplated in both the painting and the engraving.

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