Michelangelo Merisi, detto Caravaggio
Oil 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 Neapolitan stay, which runs from the end of 1606 to the beginning of July 1607. Before being taken to the Capodimonte Museum for for precautionary reasons, it underwent numerous movements within the church itself. Recent documentary finds have confirmed the commission 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 on the sides, is tied to the column that seems to recall that preserved as a relic in Santa Prassede in Rome.