Black chalk, 270 x 110 mm.
This drawing has passed through my hands about twenty years ago with an attribution to Solimena, which I sustained. In contrast today, thanks to a suggestion from Vittorio Azzoni, I think it should be attributed to Francesco De Mura, as shown by the comparison with this Flagellation in the Marcel Puech collection at the Musée Calvet d'Avignon, which is considered an important step in definition of De Mura's draughtsmanship and in the distinction of his drawings from those of his master.
LITERATURE: our drawing has been recently published in the catalogue by Arthur B. Blumenthal, in the Light of Naples, the Art of Francesco De Mura, catalogue of the exhibition at the Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Winter Park, Florida 2016.
Francesco De Mura entered the workshop of Solimena in 1708 and remained there until 1730, so his paintings of the years 1720-30 reveal a strong influence of his master, that fades in later years. From 1741 to 1743 he lived and worked in Turin, where he met the painter Corrado Giaquinto and the architect Benedetto Alfieri. On his return to Naples he was greeted by a broad consensus. He was received at the Spanish court and maintained contacts with several artists active in Rome, in particular with the French painter Pierre Subleyras.