(b. 1529, Douai, d. 1608, Firenze)

Way to Calvary

Soccorso Chapel, Santissima Annunziata, Florence

The Cappella della Madonna del Soccorso (Madonna of Succour) was designed by Giambologna between 1594 and 1598 as his own tomb and is richly adorned with frescoes, statuary and reliefs.

Giambologna's private chapel follows the example set by artists such as Baccio Bandinelli, who also in the church of the Annunziata, was able to prepare a chapel-mausoleum for himself that would remain as testimony to his nobility and to the devoted spirit behind his art. In 1594, the Servites granted Giambologna the middle chapel in the octagonal choir of the church, to be used both for his burial and for that of other Flemish artists working in Florence.

For the walls of his chapel, Giambologna commissioned paintings from Giambattista Paggi, Jacopo Ligozzi, and Passignano. Each of these painting was to be flanked by a pair of sculptures (made by Francavilla); below the figures he installed copies of the passion reliefs he had designed for the Grimaldi family in Genoa a decade before. All the reliefs centred on the figure of Christ. The present picture shows the scene Way to Calvary.