Incorrect Username, Email, or Password
Three men, the one in the center is being disrobed and tied to a waist-high pillar as he looks upward.

A muscular man on the right with an angry face holds and looks at the center man (Christ), pulling off his robe. Christ’s right arm is tied to a stone pillar on the left by another man leaning in from the left with the rope. Whips lie on the floor in front, behind them is a stone wall with barred window in the upper left with three people looking into the scene. There’s a halo around Christ’s head as he looks to center above. All three men are bare foot with garments tied around their waists.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Claudine Bouzonnet-Stella, French (1636 - 1697)
After Jacques Stella, French (Lyon 1596 - 1657 Paris)
Christ at the Column
Work Type
17th century
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

sheet: 36.3 x 26.5 cm (14 5/16 x 10 7/16 in.)
plate: 27.6 x 19.5 cm (10 7/8 x 7 11/16 in.)

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Alvin L. Clark, Jr. in memory of Konrad Oberhuber
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art

The Harvard Art Museums encourage the use of images found on this website for personal, noncommercial use, including educational and scholarly purposes. To request a higher resolution file of this image, please submit an online request.


Jacques Stella was one of the most well-known and successful French painters of the seventeenth century. After many years in Italy, he returned to Paris, where along with Laurent de La Hyre and Eustache Le Sueur, he became one of the founders of a classicizing style known as Parisian Atticism. The present work is an engraved interpretation of Stella’s celebrated drawing by Claudine Bouzonnet-Stella, the artist’s niece, who was one of the very few women connected with early French printmaking.

This composition is frequently associated with Jacques Stella’s Passion of thirty scenes that was also engraved by Claudine, but the format and the severity of its design separates it from that endeavor. Instead, it must record another depiction of this popular theme. Although Claudine’s engraving is inscribed with the mention ‘pinxit,’ no commission or painting matching its description was listed in the inventory of Stella’s atelier, nor has it ever been mentioned by any of his biographers. Claudine’s engraving is also inscribed with the name of Nicolas Poussin as the inventor of the design. This indicates that it is the second state of the engraving, where Claudine’s name was replaced with that of the more famous artist. Claudine’s impressive suite of engravings after her uncle’s well-known Life of the Virgin series also suffered the same fate.

The fact that the quality of these compositions passed easily as works by Poussin can certainly be viewed as a compliment to Jacques Stella. However, the falsehood, which nearly obliterated the skillful printmaking oeuvre of Claudine, ought to serve as an important reminder that we should always examine the inscriptions we often assume to be incontrovertible. This particular deception for financial gain, first discovered and discussed by Jacques Thuillier and Anthony Blunt, is one of the first documentable French examples of what later became a familiar phenomenon, for by the second half of the seventeenth-century, Paris was well on its way to becoming the European center for interpretive printmaking, and compositions after Poussin -- the most distinguished French artist of the century -- were big sellers.

Publication History

  • Alvin L. Clark, Jr. and Edouard Kopp, French Drawings from the Age of Claude, Poussin, Watteau, and Fragonard: Highlights from the Collection of the Harvard Art Museums, Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2022), p. 82, fig. 3

Exhibition History

  • 32Q: 2400 French/Italian/Spanish, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/04/2021 - 03/07/2022

Related Works

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at