Christ on the Mount of Olives, c. 1767

Carlo Innocenzo Carlone

1686/87 - Scaria d'Intelvi - 1775

Christ on the Mount of Olives, c. 1767

Oil on canvas
61,5 x 51,4 cm

Carlo Carlone's oil sketch Christ on the Mount of Olives is a work from his later period. It is a preparatory composition for the altarpiece executed for the Cappella Piaghe di Gesù Crocifisso in the Basilica San Fedele in Como. The unworked areas in the upper corners of the composition - showing the brown bolus ground - indicate the intended shape of the final painting (see Silvia A. Colombo, S. Coppa, I Carloni di Scaria, Lugano 1997, pp. 324-5).

Carlone was commissioned by an aristocratic family - the Passalacquas - to execute a cycle of four paintings depicting scenes from Christ's Passion: Christ on the Mount of Olives, The Flagellation, The Crowning with Thorns and The Road to Calvary. Records show that the cycle was completed between 1765 and 1767 and that Carlone received final payments for The Agony in the Garden and The Road to Calvary on 15 August 1767 (see Cani, Isidoro Bianchi e Carlo Carloni in San Fedele a Como, in: Arte Lombarda, 116, 1996, pp. 74-7).

Returning to northern Italy as an artist of some renown, he settled in Como and Scaria in 1735. In the following twelve years he worked in Lombardy (Monza, Lodi etc) on frescoes and oil paintings. His last commission north of the Alps took him to Augustusburg near Brühl, where he worked on a decorative scheme for Clemens August von Wittelsbach, Archbishop of Cologne, in 1747-50. The great projects of his later years were the decorative schemes for the Bergamo Cathedral (1762), the Church of S. Fedele in Como (1765-7) and the Asti Cathedral (1768).

Simonetta Coppa, P.O. Krückmann and D. Pescarmona (Eds.), Carlo Innocenzo Carloni, 1686/87-1775, Dipinti e Bozzetti, Milan 1997, no. 17, p.106, ill. p.107.

Fröschel Collection, Munich