Paintings of the Man of Sorrows by Titian and his studio
dipintovi di mano di Tiziano la Madonna
fino a mezzo in profile tutto vestito in rosso e panno
bianco in capo che li fa ancho soggolo, con mani giunte
in croce, in atto di mirare la terra.” Gronau, Documenti
Artistici Urbinate, p. 66; the reference to the Virgin
being dressed in red is interesting in relation to the exBrooklyn Addolorata whose costume is now red but was
originally a reddish purple. Ettore Allegri in Tiziano nelle
Gallerie Fiorentini, no. 103, pp. 355-356 establishes that
this picture, first recorded in the apartment of Vittoria
della Rovere at Poggio Imperiali, in 1654, remained
there until 1772 when it was destined for the Uffizi. It
is now lost.
Allegri, as above, points out that what must have been
another example of this type, a “Nostra donna in abito
di vedova”, was given by Cardinal Riario to Cardinal
Ferdinando de’ Medici on 7 September 1579 and that
two copies were soon made of this now-lost picture,
respectively in 1580 and 1581.
Uffizi, inv. 1890, no. 3114; see Oskar Fischel, The Work
of Titian, 5th ed. (New York: Brentano’s, 1921), pl. 266b
as possibly from Titian’s workshop; Wethey, Titian, I, p.
116 (both authors give the dimensions, misleadingly, as
63 x 57 cm); it is considered by Allegri, in Tiziano nelle
Gallerie Fiorentini, no. 103, pp. 355-356 to be a sixteenthcentury copy.
Pedrocco, “Titian’s Ecce Homo Reconsidered,” pp. 187196, identifies the painting commissioned by Guidobaldo
with one in a private collection, oil on wood, 79 x 61 cm.
I have not seen this painting, and, while acknowledging
that it is accepted by an impressive roster of scholars,
feel uneasy about the attribution to Titian. As Pedrocco
notes, it does not resemble in composition any of the
other versions and, in its obvious pathos, rather looks
back to Milanese prototypes. Pedrocco accepts that
Guidobaldo ordered a Man of Sorrows from Titian in
1552, and distinguishes the panel that he publishes,
which has a reported provenance from Urbino, from that
painting, which he seems to consider lost (he does not
mention the Palatina picture). Referring to unpublished
documents, he establishes that there seem to have been
three or four possible candidates for the Ecce Homo in
Urbino in the early seventeenth century, only one of
which passed to Florence.
Wethey, Titian, I, no. 34, p. 88, and Keaveney in
Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Ireland, p. 9; but see
Verdi, Anthony Van Dyck, no. 13, pp. 59-60. A relation
to the Dublin painting could be accepted only if that
had been overpainted or if one allowed Vorsterman
unusual latitude.
The two engravings, the first (22.8 x 15.2 cm.)
inscribed Titiaen, the second (23 x 16.3 cm), Titianus
pinx and generally dated ca. 1650, are reproduced by
Hollstein, XLII, nos. 13 and 17, p. 92, . The paintings
that the engravings follow were evidently owned
by a couple. The Man of Sorrows, inscribed ECCE
HOMO, bears the dedication: Celeberrimus Ornatis-q
Dño D JOANNI BAP FRANCO liberl Artium amatory
hoc munusculum, while the Mater Dolorosa, inscribed
MATER DOLOROSA, bears Begnine pieque Dñe
Marie Doedecum Coniugi D. Jöis Bte. Franx.
71. While this article was in press, a previously unknown
Christ as the Man of Sorrows (oil on canvas, 83 x 69 cm)
of the “Philipian type”, but accompanied on the right
by a helmeted soldier, appeared at Christie’s, New
York, October 29, 2019, lot 772. It is hard to judge this
painting’s status from the photo in the catalogue but,
as Derek Johns kindly pointed out to me, restoration
might reveal a work of real quality, perhaps not far in
date from 1560.
72. Eleonora’s letters are discussed in the Part I of this
Paintings of the Man of Sorrows by Titian and his studio


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