ZUCCARO, Federico
(b. ca. 1542, Sant'Angelo in Vado, d. 1609, Ancona)

Flagellation of Christ

1573
Fresco
Oratorio del Gonfalone, Rome

The most important brotherhood in Rome was that of the Gonfalone. It had its newly constructed oratory frescoed from 1568 to 1577, with many artists participating in the project. With the help of their cardinal protector, Alessandro Farnese, the members of the brotherhood were able to win over Jacopo Zanguidi, known as Il Bertoia, for the design of the decorative system. Painted Solomonic columns articulated a history cycle and supported an elaborate entablature, above which, in an upper zone of the wall, prophets and sibyls sit with scrolls, Old Testament kings, and virtues. The narratives of the paintings depict the Passion of Christ from the entry into Jerusalem to the Resurrection. The entrance wall emphasizes two scenes in which the depiction of Christ's physical pain is particularly striking: on the left Federico Zuccaro's Flagellation of Christ, and on the right Cesare Nebbia's Christ Crowned with Thorns.