The Lamentation, 1603
Domenichino (Domenico Zampieri) (Italian, Bolognese, 1581–1641))
Oil on copper; 20 7/8 x 14 3/4 in. (53 x 37.5 cm)
Purchase, Walter and Leonore Annenberg Acquisitions Endowment Fund, European Paintings Funds and funds from various donors; Mr. and Mrs. Mark Fisch and The Reed Foundation Gifts; Gwynne Andrews Fund; Elaine Rosenberg Gift; The Edward Joseph Gallagher III Memorial Collection, Edward J. Gallagher Jr. Bequest; Marquand Fund; Museum Purchase Fund; Peter Tcherepnine Gift; The Camille M. Lownds Fund; Stephenson Family Foundation Gift; Ruth and Victoria Blumka Fund; Earl Kiely Bequest; and The Morse G. Dial Foundation, Mallett Inc. and Diane Carol Brandt Gifts, 2008 (2008.72)
This gemlike, beautifully preserved picture was painted by the young Domenichino a year after he moved from his native Bologna to Rome, and it gives to the collection a work that perfectly expresses the tenets of what was to become known as the Grand Manner—a style in which everyday reality is elevated to a higher aesthetic and expressive plane. The composition repeats that of a large altarpiece designed by Annibale Carracci for the Church of San Francesco a Ripa, Rome (now in the Musée du Louvre, Paris), which explains why, in the past, it was ascribed to Annibale rather than to Domenichino. Annibale greatly admired the talent of his young assistant, who in this picture outstripped his master in creating a mood of restrained but poignant grief. The turbaned figure of Joseph of Arimathea with an urn was Domenichino's personal interpolation. The picture, with the cherubs pointing at Christ's wounds and the nails and crown of thorns displayed in the foreground, was intended for private devotion.