signed, inscribed and dated on a cartellino lower right: EX PIETATE/BER.DE SYE/ SODONA EQVES/FACIEBAT SEN/MDXXXIII
oil on panel, transferred to canvas, unframed
111 by 86 cm.; 39 3/4 by 33 3/4 in.
G. Duplessis, "La Collection de M. Camille Marcille", in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, vol. XIII, March 1876, p. 432 and reproduced on p. 433;
R.H.H. Cust, "Giovanni Antonio Bazzi", in Bryan's Dictionary of Painters and Engravers, ed. G.C. Williamson, vol. I, 1903, p. 100;
Catalogue, Collections de Somzée. Deuxième Partie. Tableaux Anciens, Brussels 1904, p. 72, no. 446, reproduced plate XLVIII;
R.H.H. Cust, Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, London 1906, p. 358;
C. Terrasse, Sodoma, Paris 1925, p. 130.
Louis Chapon in 1876 (see Duplessis, under Literature, above).
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION
Camille Marcille, Chartres;
His deceased sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 6-7 March 1876, lot 3;
Baron Leon de Somzée, his sale, Brussels, J. Fiévez, 24 May 1904, lot 446;
Duke d'Arenberg, Brussels and Monte Carlo, according to his seal on the reverse, by 1925 (see Literature, Terrasse);
With the International Art Gallery, Monte Carlo, from whom acquired on 16 March 1967 by the family of a private collector;
By whom sold, London, Sotheby's, 20 April 1988, lot 9, for £68,000 by the present owner.
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Paintings by Sodoma rarely appear on the market, and it is noteworthy that this picture is not only signed and dated, but it also gives the patron's name, who is not otherwise known. Sodoma identifies himself as knight (EQVES), a title conferred on him by Pope Leo X some time between 1513 and 1517. The present painting dates from the 1530s, at a time that Sodoma was at the height of his career, when he was receiving numerous important public commissions such as those for the Palazzo Pubblico and for the Spanish Chapel in the church of Santo Spirito in Siena. This Pietà, like other altarpieces by Sodoma painted during the fourth decade of the 16th Century, is characterised by a dense composition and monumental figure style (compare B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Central Italian and North Italian Schools, vol. III, London 1968, plates 1544 and 1545). The painting is strangely omitted from Berenson's list of Sodoma's paintings and from Andrée Madeleine Hayum's dissertation (Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.) of the following year.