The Flagellation

Date: mid-14th century

Geography: Made in Florence, Italy

Culture: Italian

Medium: Silk and metallic threads on linen

Dimensions: Overall: 10 1/2 x 16in. (26.7 x 40.6cm)

Classification: Textiles-Embroidered

Credit Line: Bequest of Charles F. Iklé, 1963

Accession Number: 64.27.18


While the needlework on this panel has been attributed to the Florentine embroiderer Geri Lapi, the designer has not been identified. Cooperation between painters and embroiderers is evidenced in Il Libro dell'arte, a manual for artists written by the Italian painter Cennino Cennini (ca. 1370&151;ca. 1440). More than twenty shades of silk and metallic threads give richness to the design, and the gold background is enlivened with raised scrolling vines. The Flagellation is one of twelve panels attributed to Geri Lapi depicting the life of Christ, of which nine are in the Museum. The format and subject indicate that the ensemble decorated an altar frontal, perhaps the antependium described in the inventory of Jean, duc de Berry (1340–1416), brother of King Charles V of France (r. 1364–80) and one of the great art patrons of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.