The Way to Calvary

Object Details

Title:

The Way to Calvary

Artist/Maker(s):

Domenichino (Domenico Zampieri) (Italian, 1581 - 1641)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

about 1610

Medium:

Oil on copper

Dimensions:

55.2 x 67.6 cm (21 3/4 x 26 5/8 in.)

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The cross pins Christ to the ground under its weight as he struggles on the way to his Crucifixion. With his mouth parted as if to speak, Christ looks sorrowfully out at the viewer. The large figures and compressed composition enhance the sense of his oppression under the massive cross and the cruelty of his tormentors.

Domenichino paid particular attention to individualized types; the attendant soldiers and executioners seem studiously painted from individual models. A Roman soldier in armor and sandals leads the procession and gestures with a baton at Simon of Cyrene, who tries to assist Christ. Behind them, another soldier tugs sharply on the rope tied around the body of Christ and raises his right arm as if to strike. Shocked faces from the civilian throng that accompanied Christ to Calvary are visible between his legs. In the background are various figures: a man in a fringed red hat carrying a ladder on his shoulders and two more soldiers, one on horseback and another on foot.

The painting's coloring has retained its strong impact because of the superior preservative qualities of oil on a copper surface.

Provenance
- 1681

Thomas de Dreux, sold to Jean-Baptiste Colbert, 1681.

1681 - 1690

Jean-Baptiste Colbert, marquis de Seignelay, 1651 - 1690 (Paris, France), sold to François de Camps, 1690.

1690 - 1721

Abbot François de Camps of Signy, 1643 - 1723 (Paris, France), sold to Philippe II, 1721.

1721 - 1723

Philippe II, duc d'Orléans and regent of France, 1674 - 1723 (Paris, France), by inheritance to his son, Louis, 1723.

1723 - 1752

Louis, duc d'Orléans, 1703 - 1752 (Paris, France), by inheritance to his son, Louis-Philippe, 1752.

1752 - 1785

Louis-Philippe, duc d'Orléans, 1725 - 1785 (Paris, France), by inheritance to his son, Louis-Philippe-Joseph, 1785.

1785 - 1792

Louis-Philippe-Joseph, duc d'Orléans, 1747 - 1793 (Paris, France), sold to Édouard de Walkuers, 1792.

1792

Vicomte Édouard de Walkuers (Brussels, Belgium), sold to his cousin, François-Louis-Joseph de Laborde-Méréville, 1792.

1792 - 1793

François-Louis-Joseph de Laborde-Méréville, 1761 - 1802 (Paris, France; London, England), consigned to Jeremiah Harman, 1793.

1793 - 1798

Jeremiah Harman, about 1764 - 1844 (London, England) [sold, Orléans Collection sale, Bryan, London, December 26, 1798, lot 89, to a consortium of George Granville Leveson-Gower, Frederick Howard, and Francis Egerton.]

1798

George Granville Leveson-Gower, first duke of Sutherland, 1758 - 1833 (London, England; Worsley Hall, Lancashire, England)

1798

and Frederick Howard, fifth earl of Carlisle, 1748 - 1825 (Castle Howard, North Yorkshire, England)

1798

and Francis Egerton, third duke of Bridgewater, 1736 - 1803 (London, England; Trentham Hall, Stafford, England; Dunrobin Castle, Highland, Scotland), upon purchase, Francis Egerton selected this painting as part of his share.

1798 - 1803

Francis Egerton, third duke of Bridgewater, 1736 - 1803, by inheritance to his nephew, George Granville Leveson-Gower, 1803.

1803 - 1833

George Granville Leveson-Gower, first duke of Sutherland, 1758 - 1833 (Trentham Hall, Stafforshire, England; Dunrobin Castle, Highland, Scotland), by inheritance to his second son, Francis Egerton, 1833.

1833 - 1857

Francis Egerton, first earl of Ellesmere, 1800 - 1857 (Worsley Hall, Lancashire, England), by inheritance to his son, George Granville Francis Egerton, 1857.

1857 - 1862

George Granville Francis Egerton, second earl of Ellesmere, 1823 - 1862 (Worsley Hall, Lancashire, England), by inheritance to his eldest son, Francis Charles Granville Egerton, 1862.

1862 - 1914

Francis Charles Granville Egerton, third earl of Ellesmere, 1847 - 1914 (Worsley Hall, Lancashire, England), by inheritance to his son, John Francis Granville Scrope Egerton, 1914.

1914 - 1944

John Francis Granville Scrope Egerton, fourth earl of Ellesmere, 1872 - 1944 (Worsley Hall, Lancashire, England), by inheritance to his son, John Sutherland Egerton, 1944.

1944 - 1946

John Sutherland Egerton, sixth duke of Sutherland, 1915 - 2000 (Worsley Hall, Lancashire, England) [sold, Ellesmere sale, Christie's, London, October 18, 1946, lot 83, to John Pope-Hennessy.]

1946 - 1983

John Pope-Hennessy, 1913 - 1994 (London, England; New York, New York), sold through Bob P. Haboldt (New York, New York) to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983.

Exhibitions
duc d'Orléans Collection (December 26, 1798 to June 1799)
  • Bryan's, (London), December 26, 1798 to June, 1799, (Cat.)
L'ideale classico del seicento in Italia e la pittura di paesaggio (September 8 to November 11, 1962)
  • Palazzo Dell'Archiginnasio, (Bologna), September 8 to November 11, 1962, (Cat. 20)
Domenichino (1581 - 1641) (October 10, 1996 to January 14, 1997)
  • Museo Nazionale di Palazzo Venezia, (Rome), October 10, 1996 to January 14, 1997, (Cat. pp. 36, 404 - 405 17)
Captured Emotions: Baroque Painting in Bologna 1575-1725 (December 16, 2008 to May 3, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 2008 to May 3, 2009, (Cat. pl. 8)
Display and Art History: The Düsseldorf Gallery and its Catalogue (May 31, 2011 to August 21, 2011)
  • The Getty Research Institute, (Los Angeles), May 31 to August 21, 2011, (Cat.)
Bibliography

Waagen, Gustav Friedrich. Treasures of Art in Great Britian: Being an Account of the Chief Collections of Paintings, Drawings, Sculptures, Illuminated Mss., &c., &c. 3 vols. (London: John Murray, 1854), vol. 2, p. 35.

Hoving, Thomas. "Money and Masterpieces." Connoisseur 216, no. 899 (December 1986), p. 97, 98, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. Rev. ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988), unpaginated, no. 11 ill.

Carr, Dawson W., and Mark Leonard. Looking at Paintings: A Guide to Technical Terms (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, with British Museum Press, 1992), p. 21, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B., et al. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. 3rd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995), unpaginated, no. 13, ill., entry by Burton B. Fredericksen.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 34, ill.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 6th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), p. 104, ill.

Zuffi, Stefano. Gospel Figures in Art. Thomas Michael Hartmann, trans. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003), p. 289.

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