Colnaghi Collections_Vol 01 - Page 50



IV
FERNANDO YÁÑEZ DE LA ALMEDINA
Almedina, Ciudad Real, ca. 1475 – 1536
Christ Carrying the Cross with his Executioners
Oil on canvas
78 x 78 cm.
PROVENANCE
The present canvas depicting Christ Carrying the Cross with his
Private Collection, Italy
Executioners can be attributed on stylistic grounds to Fernando
Yáñez de la Almedina. It represents an important addition to
LITERATURE
the Manchegan painter’s corpus, as it sheds light on the artist’s
José Gómez Frechina, “Un Yáñez de la
activities in Italy prior to his arrival in Valencia. Based on a
Almedina italiano,” Ars Magazine. Revista de Arte
composition by Leonardo da Vinci, Yáñez’s work can be securely
y Coleccionista, Madrid 37 (2018): pp. 58-65.
dated to the artist’s sojourn in Italy, where he is documented in
1505 in the Florentine workshop of Leonardo da Vinci, who was
at the time engaged with the important commission for the Battle
of Anghiari for the Sala del Gran Consiglio of the Signoria.1
Yáñez’s Christ Carrying the Cross is modelled on a now lost cartoon,
or possibly painting, by Leonardo for which a drawing survives:
Head and Shoulders of Christ with a Hand Pulling his Hair (ca. 14901495), in the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice (see intro. fig. 3).2
Leonardo’s innovative drawing presents the figure of Christ turning
his head, as if to establish direct communication with the viewer,
thus creating a sorrowful image that arouses compassion and
compels the devout spectator to prayer and empathetic meditation.
It seems likely that Leonardo executed the composition of Christ
Accompanied by Executioners as a cartoon, which, although now
lost, was very influential and widely copied by his followers.
Among the various versions of Leonardo’s lost model now
known are a Christ Carrying the Cross Between two Executioners by
an anonymous Leonardesque painter in the Pinacoteca of the
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