Michelangelo Merisi, detto Caravaggio
Oil painting on canvas
The work was painted for the chapel of the de Franchis family in the church of San Domenico Maggiore, during Caravaggio's first stay in Naples, which goes from the end of 1606 to the beginning of July 1607. Before being taken to the Capodimonte Museum for reasons of a precautionary nature, it underwent numerous movements within the church itself. Recent documentary findings have confirmed the commissioning date of the work in the spring of 1607. Some scholars believe that the canvas was also finished in 1607, before the artist's Maltese stay. For the representation of the Flagellation, Caravaggio uses a traditional iconography: the Christ, covered only with the loincloth knotted at the sides, is tied to the column which seems to recall the one preserved as a relic in Santa Prassede in Rome.