The Crucifixion
etching and engraving, circa 1540-61, on laid paper, without watermark, a very good impression of this rare print, second state (of two), printing with plate tone
Plate & Sheet 386 x 279 mm.
Possibly Christie's, London, 26 April 1984, lot 533 (part lot).
Eric G. Stanley (1923-2018), Oxford; possibly acquired from the above sale (through Artemis Fine Arts, London).
Bartsch 13;
See B. Barnes, Michelangelo in Print: Reproductions as Response in the Sixteenth Century, 2010, no. 93, p. 197.
See A. Alberti, A. Rovetta, C. Salsi, D’après Michelangelo, Milano, 2015, no. 249, p. 150.
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Lot Essay

The subject of the present engraving by Battista Franco is based on one of the four presentation drawings given by Michelangelo to his friend and mentor, the poet Vittoria Colonna (1492-1547). It was probably produced with the help of a faithful, contemporary copy, perhaps made specifically for this purpose, rather than the original drawing itself.
Also known as CristoVivo, this motif became a seminal devotional image of the period. Christ is depicted still alive, in the moment of his sacrifice, his eyes cast towards Heaven. His tormented body, writhing in agony on the cross, recalls the struggling, twisted figure of Laocoon.
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