Paintings of the Man of Sorrows by Titian and his studio
Paintings of the Man of Sorrows by Titian and his studio
This article is the continuation of the study on Titian's
Man of Sorrows published in the last volume of this
Journal. See Paul Joannides, “Paintings of the Man of
Sorrows by Titian and his Studio,” Colnaghi Studies Journal
5 (2019): pp. 125-139.
Acknowledgements in Part I are common to Part
II, but thanks should be repeated for Noel Annesley,
Miguel Falomir, and Almudena Pérez de Tudela, and
added for Piers Baker-Bates and Alexander Troubridge,
who provided invaluable last minute help.
Interesting pendants attributed to the Southwest
German School ca. 1480, on a scale that would
have made them eminently portable, were offered at
Christie’s, London, 6 July 2018, lot 105.
Harold Wethey, Titian, I, The Religious Paintings (London:
Phaidon, 1969), nos. 76 and 77; Peter Humfrey, Titian,
the Complete Paintings (London: Phaidon, 2007), nos. 197
and 198. Diptychs of the Man of Sorrows and the Mater
Dolorosa are quite common in Flemish fifteenth-century
painting with examples by Rogier, Memling, and Hugo
van der Goes, among others, but no Mater Dolorosa
presently known shows her with open hands; however,
as Paula Nuttall kindly pointed out to me, open hands
are employed by Rogier in representations of Passion
scenes, and it may be that he produced a close-up
image with the same gesture.
Fernando Checa Cremades, ed., Los Inventarios de
Carlo V y la familia imperial/The Inventories of Charles
V and the Imperial Family, 3 vols. (Madrid: Fernando
Villaverde, 2010), III, p. 299 (p. 79 of the inventory),
with successive entries: “Otro tablero hecho de mano
de Tiçiano en piedra que es Cristo azotado can una
ymagen de Nuestra Señora junto con ella. Pintuda
sobre madera, la qula hes de mano de maestre Miguel
y el Cristo de Tiçiano.
Otra pintura de Nuestro Señor Jhesu cristo en Madera
que lleba la cruz a cuestas, de mano de maestre y otra
ymagen junto con el, hecha en piedra, de Nuestra
Señora de mano de Tiçiano. Otra pintura de Nuestra
Señora pintada sobre madera hecha de mano de
The same information is repeated on p. 313 of the
Coxcie’s panels do not seem to have survived but we
lack a catalogue raisonné of his work.
As Dr. Perez de Tudela Gabaldón pointed out to me,
there is a single figure of the Virgin, 92 x 67 cm, painted
on slate, in the Escorial (inv. 10014559), inventoried as
a possible copy after Titian by an unidentified Italian
painter. While I am aware of no other version of this
arrangement, Titian’s authorship of the design seems to
me distinctly possible; however, given Mary’s youthful
features and modest pose, arms crossed over her breast,
the painting is more likely to have originated as a Virgin
Annunciate than a Mater Dolorosa. Nevertheless, this
may be the Mater Dolorosa described together with a
Man of Sorrows, by Padre Andrés Ximénez, Descripción
del real monasterio de San Lorenzo del Escorial (Madrid:
Antonio Marin, 1764), pp. 75-76 as placed in the
upper cloister: “En los Testeros de los Cañones, que
abrazan la Escalera principal, hay otros dos Quadros,
que son un Ecce-Homo, y una nuestra Señora de la
Soledad: el Divino Señor, expresado excelentemente: la
Reyna Soberana, con rostro tan affligido, que infunde
compassion en el Corazon mas duros representase
lastimada y llorosa, en un accion que significa
bellamente estos afectosd. Son ambas del celebre
Ticano, y están executadas con particular cuidado
y acierto.” These are presumably the same pictures
mentioned thirty-six years later by Juan Augustín Ceán
Bermudez, Dicionario historico de los más ilustres profesores
de las Bellas Artes en España, 6 vols. (Madrid: Viuda de
Ibarra, 1800), V, p. 42: “En el claustro principal alto un
Eccehomo y una Dolorosa di medio cuerpo, pintados en
pizzaras y colocados en los lados de la escalera principal
sobre los arcos que van á los claustros chicos.”
Fernando Checa Cremades, ed., Los Libros de Entregas
de Felipe II a El Escorial (Madrid: Patrimono Nacional,
2013), p. 212, (p. 209 of the inventory): “Dos ymagines
la una de C(h)risto Nuestro Señor, la otra de Nuestra
Señora en piedra que fueron del Emperador Nuestro
Señor. Cierranse la una con la otra. Son de mano de
Tiziano de medio cuerpo.” After the death of Philip II,
Charles V’s Man of Sorrows on slate and Mater Dolorosa
on marble were transferred to the Madrid Alcázar
where they are recorded in July 1600: see Fernando
Checa Cremades, ed., Inventarios de Felipe II: post mortem,
almoneda, tapices (Madrid: Fernando Villaverde, 2018), p.
104 (p. 57 of the inventory): “Un retabillo de Madera
dorado y pintado de negro con dos pinturas la una C(h)
risto y la otra de Nuestra Señora de medio cuerpo al
ol(l)io sobre piedra pizarra de mano de Tiçiano puestas
en sus marcos de madera con molduras doradas y
azules que situe en el altar del oratorio del quarto vajo
neba del Palacio tasado en ciento y veynte ducados.”
For example, in 1636 they were in the Pieça alta de la
torre en que está la libreria de su majestad, as nos. 658-659:
“Ecçe Homo y Nuestra Señora. Dos pinturas de mano
del Tiçian, sobre piedra, que tienen muldura dorada y
negra, de dos pies y medio de ancho y uina bara escasa
de alto poco má o menos, el uno es un Ecçe Homo
atadas las manos, tiene un paño Colorado que le cubre
el hombre izquierdo. El otro es Nuestra Señora con
toca y manto açul y la saya morada, llorando, abiertas
las manos.” See Gloria Martínez Leiva and Ángel
Rodríguez Rebollo, Quadros y otras cosas que tienen su
Magestad Felipe IV en este Alcázar de Madrid, Año de 1636
(Madrid: Fundacion Universitaria Espanola, 2007), p. 93.
Wethey, Titian, I, p. 116, discusses and reproduces
(pl. 215), a copy of this Mater Dolorosa, presumably
the same size, on wood, formerly in the Carvalho
Collection, Villandry, and another enlarged version
(Museo Cerralbo, Madrid, oil on canvas, 84 x 69 cm)
is mentioned by Francesco Valcanover, Tutta la Pittura di
Tiziano, 2 vols. (Milan: Rizzoli, 1960), II, pp. 69-70.
This may recall Solario’s first version of the subject,
see David Alan Brown, Andrea Solario (Milan: Electa,
1987), no. 9.
10. This Mater Dolorosa was to be included in a sale at
Christie’s, London, 8 July 2005, lot 85 (the catalogue
entry by Francis Russell exists in a separately paginated
extract which I have used here), oil on wood, 68 x
57 cm, prominently signed TITIANUS at the upper
right, but was withdrawn and instead sold in New
York on 6 April 2006, lot 64. It is reportedly now in
a private collection in the USA. It is recorded in the
Colonna Collection in 1783 and is unlikely to have
had any connection with Spain. Displayed in Belluno
in 2008, see Enrico Maria dal Pozzolo in Tiziano.
L’Ultimo atto, ed. Lionello Puppi, exh. cat. (Belluno:
Palazzo Crepadona, 2008), no. 61, pp. 383-384, who
fully analyzed this painting, as well as no. 62, pp. 384385, the reduced version in San Gaetano, Padua, oil
on wood, 50 x 38 cm. There is a northern copy of this
Mater Dolorosa, perhaps indirect, in the Royal Collection
(oil on oak, 78 x 62 cm); John Shearman, The Pictures
in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, The Early Italian
Pictures (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
1983), no. 289, and a variant copy in Budapest: Vilmos
Tatrái, ed., Old Masters Gallery, A Summary Catalogue
of Italian, French, Spanish and Greek Paintings (London:
Visual Arts Publishing [u.a.]; Budapest: Startcolor Co.,
1991), p. 119: inv. 857, oil on canvas, 75 x 63 cm, as
a seventeenth-century copy. In the Budapest canvas
the Virgin is set against a sky presumably invented by
the copyist. She differs in minor particulars from the
ex-Brooklyn version, and this copy probably derives,
indirectly, not from that, but from Philip II’s canvas, a
hypothesis comforted by its size. It is widely accepted
that the red drapery of the Virgin in the ex-Brooklyn
panel is the result of the loss of a modifying layer
of blue, and that her garment was originally purple.
However, while losses have certainly occurred, several
copies of lost versions – for example that in the Royal
Collection – suggest that Titian or his studio did issue
examples of the Mater Dolorosa with reddish or brownish
outer garments.
11. Wethey, Titian, I, no. 35, figs. 218 and 219.
12. Bertelli also engraved Titian’s Escorial Last Supper – or
perhaps the Santi Giovanni e Paolo version – but with
many variants: see [Sir Abraham Hume], Notices of the
Life and Works of Titian (London: J. Rodwell, 1829),
p. xvi; the print, examples of which exist in several
collections, is quite large: 48.5 x 41.6 cm (information
from Matthias Wivel).
13. As Matthias Wivel has also pointed out to me, a rather
mechanical engraving of the Man of Sorrows, which
bears Bertelli’s name, exists in the Museum of Fine
Arts Budapest; this seems to be a reversed copy with
added border decoration of a superior but anonymous
engraving published in Rome by Antonio Lafreri which
carries the date 1566; see Christopher Witcombe,
Print Publishing in Sixteenth-Century Rome: Growth and
Expansion, Rivalry and Murder (London: Miller, 2008),
p. 185; Matthias Wivel, “Colour in Line, Titian and
Printmaking” (PhD diss., University of Cambridge,
2010), P59, p. 316 as “Anonymous Roman Printmaker
after Titian”. Neither engraving carries a reference to
Titian, and while the image obviously depends, in a
general sense, on his work, I doubt it follows a specific
prototype by him; Veronese might be a more suitable
candidate for the design.
A parallel is Giulio Sanuto’s 1559 engraving of Venus
and Adonis, whose elaborate inscription claims it to be
after the painting sent to Philip II in 1554, but which
actually follows more closely the later version now in a
Swiss private collection, presumably the example then
available in Titian’s workshop: see Matthias Wivel,
“Titian’s Venus and Adonis in Sixteenth-Century Prints,”
Marburger Jahrbuch für Kunstwissenschaft 40 (2013): pp.
113-127, and Jane Shoaf Turner and Paul Joannides,
“Titian’s Rokeby Venus and Adonis and the Role of
Working Templates within his Development of the
Theme,” Studi Tizianeschi 9 (2016): pp. 48-76, especially
pp. 67-69.
Wethey, Titian, I, p. 89. It has proved impossible to
obtain official photographs of these paintings, and we
have relied on the snapshots of friends. In the museum,
they cannot be seen together, being placed in different
rooms and with the Man of Sorrows skied.
The Prado’s Mater Dolorosa is on a canvas of the same
type as the Avila copies and may have been painted by
the same hand at the same time.
See for these Leiva and Rebollo, Quadros y otras cosas, pp.
151 and 152, who identify both as copies of Philip II’s
Padre Fray José de Sigüenza and Miguel Sanchez
y Pinillos, Historia Primitiva y Exacta del Monasterio del
Escorial (Madrid: Impr. y Fundicion de M. Tello, 1881),
p. 482, in the room behind the sacristy: “Hay otra
figura de Nuestro Redentor que solemos llamar Ecce
Homo, y la Santísima Madre, que le está mirando, en
otro quadro, de que tambien andan infinitas estampas
y copias.” Since the pair painted on stone for Charles
V were little copied and not engraved, it was accepted
by Wethey that the pair Sigüenza describes was that
painted for Philip II; but if so it is surprising that
Sigüenza nowhere mentions Charles V’s pair: maybe
they had been transferred to the Alcázar by the time
he wrote. However, Padre Sigüenza’s accuracy cannot
be taken for granted: he admits that he is ill-informed
about painting and was not necessarily alert to fine
distinctions, and the various versions of the Man of
Sorrows and Mater Dolorosa have more in common than
differentiates them. Furthermore, as far as we know
from the Entregas, while Charles V’s pair was sent to
the Escorial and placed in the Sacristy (see note 31 in
Part I of this essay), there is no mention in the Entregas
that Philip’s pair was sent there. Although Sigüenza’s
book was published in 1605, it is unclear when the
manuscript was completed, and his reference to the
Man of Sorrows and the Mater Dolorosa as in the sacristy,
when we know that both pairs were in the Alcázar by
1600, presumably antedates Philip’s death.
They cannot be found in any of the Libros de entregas.
That Sigüenza might have been mistaken was
suggested by Hope, reported by Russell, Mater Dolorosa
sale catalogue entry, p. 12, but, if so, it would have to
be assumed that Sigüenza knew numerous copies of
this pair that have not survived.
20. Leiva and Rebollo, Quadros y otras cosas, nos.151-152,
p. 91: “Nuestro Señor y María. Dos lienços al olio, de
mano del Tiçiano, con molduras dorados y negras,
que tienen de ancho una bara escasa y de alto otra
poco más, en que están pintados en el uno un Ecçe
Homo, atados las manos y una caña en ellas, y el otro
de Nuestra Señora, enlaçadas las manos unos dedos
en otros con el manto sobre los hombros.” Previously
recorded in Checa, Inventarios de Felipe II, p. 107 (p. 73
of the inventory, nos. 65 and 66): “Un lienzo al ol(l)io
de mano de Ticiano de Xpo (sic. Christo) Ecçe Homo
de medio cuerpo en marco con molduras dorados y
negros. Tiene de alto bara y dos dedos y de ancho
cinco sesimas. Esta colgada en el apos(s)ento de su
Majestad. Tasada en quarenta ducados.
Otro lienzo al olio del tamaño del de la partida antes
de esta de Nuestra Señora de medio cuerpo as(s)
idas las manos con manto azul y de la misma mano
y guarnacion esta colgada en el apos(s)ento de su
Magestad tasada en quarenta ducados.”
21. Wethey, Titian, I, no. 35, p. 89, copy 3, referring to
Padre Franciso de los Santos’s Descripción de San Lorenzo
del Escorial 1657 y 1698, in 1657, see Andres Ximenez
et al., A Description of the Royal Palace and Monastery of St.
Laurence, called the Escurial; and of the Chapel Royal of the
Pantheon. Translated from the Spanish of Frey Francisco de los
Santos, Chaplain to his Majesty Philip the Fourth. Illustrated
with Copper Plates, trans. George Thompson (London:
Dryden Leach, for S. Hooper at Caesar’s Head, in the
Strand, 1760), pp. 243-244.
22. Ximenez et al., A Description of the Royal Palace, p. 152:
“The piece, over the collateral altar, on the gospel side,
is the adoration of the eastern magi; a most beautiful
piece, in which the tints, figures and drapery admit of no
improvement. On the epistle side is a burial of Christ,
not to be viewed without the tenderest emotions. The
figures in these two pictures are about half as big as
life. Above them are two other small figures, the gift of
Philip IV. One, an ECCE HOMO, the other, our Lady
of the same size, beholding him with a look of sorrow
and affliction. They are all by Titian, finely executed”;
Ximenez et al., A Description of the Royal Palace, p. 110:
“Sobre ellos hacen Frontispicio á sus retablos, otras
dos Quadros pequeños. El uno es un Ecce-Homo, de
medio cuerpo solo. El otro una nuestra Señora de la
misma medida, que le está mirando afligida y triste.
Todos son de mano del Ticiano, y admirables”, and
Ceán Bermudez, Dicionario historico, V, p. 43: “en le altar
del del lado del evangel la adoracion de los Reyes y un
Eccehomo; y en el de la epístola un entierro di Cristo y
una dolorosa.” Bermudez also mentions in the aulillia, a
“un Eccehomo de medio cuerpo”. Dos Santos describes
the two paintings as “pequeños”, but that, of course is in
relation to the very large canvas of the Martyrdom of Saint
Lawrence, and the sizeable ones of the Adoration of the Magi
and the Entombment.
23. Bonaventura Bassegoda, El Escorial como Museo
(Bellaterra, Barcelona: Universitat Autònoma de
Barcelona, Servei de Publicacions, 2002), p. 201,
catalogues the Man of Sorrows and the Mater Dolorosa
currently in place in the Iglesia Vieja as those first
recorded there in 1667 as a gift from Philip IV. But they
seem already to have been in the Aulilla of the Escorial
by 1658: see Charles Daviller, Mémoire de Velazquez sur
Quarante et un tableaux envoyé par Philiipe IV à l’Escorial,
Réeimpression de l’exemplaire unique (1658) avec introduction,
traduction et notes par le Baron C. Davillier et un portrait de
Velazquez (Paris, 1874), p. 57: “XX. Un Ecce Homo, de
Ticiano, de medio cuerpo, colorido milagrosamente. Ay
dél muchas copias. Su alto dos pies y tres quartos, de
ancho poco más de dos
XXI Otro quadro del mesmo tamaño de la Virgen
ansiada y llorosa mirando á su Hijo, de mano de
The text is ambiguous, but these paintings may have
been among those presented to Philip IV by the Conde
de Monterrey, who had brought them from Italy. In
any case, the impression given in the Memoria is that
most of the paintings listed in it were relatively new
acquisitions, rather than works inherited by Philip IV.
24. The Iglesia Vieja’s Mater Dolorosa resembles quite
closely in drapery style and, as far as one can judge,
surface texture, a Mater Dolorosa, somewhat different
in arrangement, published in an article by August
Mayer, “An unknown Mater Dolorosa by El Greco,” The
Burlington Magazine 52 (1928): pp. 183-185, pl. B, as by
Palma Giovane. It does not seem to be by Palma (it is
included in none of the catalogues of Palma’s work),
but it might be by one of the Northerners who worked
in Titian’s circle.
25. “de bara y quarta de alta y bara de ancho de un Ezeomo
de mano del Tiziano, en sesenta ducados”, and “Ottra
de Un Excehomo de Vara y quartta de altto y Vara de
Ancho de mano del tiçiano tasada en Cien Doblones
100”. See Gloria Fernández Bayton, Inventarios reales,
testamentaria del Rey Carlos II 1701-1703, 2 vols. (Madrid:
Patronato Nacional de Museos, 1975-1981), I, p. 28, and
Gloria Martínez Leiva and Ángel Rodríguez Rebollo,
El Inventario del Alcázar de Madrid de 1666. Felipe IV y su
colección artistica (Madrid: Patrimonio Nacional, 2015), no.
789, pp. 533-534. I cannot explain why Wethey, Titian,
I, p. 88, gives inventory numbers different from those of
Leiva and Rebollo in 1666 and 1686.
26. Morlin Ellis has pointed out to me that in the
1794 inventory of La Granja as 18172/243, is an
unattributed “Nuestra Senora in contemplacion”,
measuring “dos pies en alto uno y medio de ancho”,
which is described as “esta quemado”.
27. From what one can infer of the paintings’ style from
the prints, they would seem more appropriate for a
date in the mid-1550s than the early 1560s. The Mater
Dolorosa is a little more “impressionistic” in its burin
work than the Man of Sorrows and might have been cut
by a different engraver.


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