The Flagellation: With the Pavement and The Descent into Limbo (R.A./M.M. cat. 67) were engraved on either side of the same copper plate. In the list of watermarks provided in Appendix II of the recent exhibition catalogue it would appear that no impression of either subject has yet been recorded on Italian paper with a watermark datable to either the late 15th Century or early 16th Century. The first impressions were probably not taken until after the plate was taken to France (along with other Mantegna plates) at some stage early in the 16th Century, some four to five decades after the date of execution proposed by Landau. The excellence of the present impression, very comparable to that in the British Museum also on French paper, and the lack of any discernible wear would seem to preclude any earlier or sizeable publication in Italy.
Although David Landau and Suzanne Boorsch converge in their attribution of certain Mantegna 'school' prints to Giovanni Antonio da Brescia, Giulio Campagnola and the Master of 1515 they express differing opinions as to how the remaining Mantegna 'school' prints should be classified. Landau supports Kristeller's and Hind's firm attribution of seven prints to Andrea Mantegna and adds four further prints to their lists (R.A./M.M. cat. nos. 36, 37, 32, 29), leaving the rest to the 'School of Mantegna' and the Premier Engraver. Boorsch puts forward the hypothesis that none of these works, neither those formerly given to Mantegna nor those by his 'school', should be attributed to the Master, but rather should all be classified, on stylistic grounds, as the work of a single and as yet unidentified engraver probably hired by Mantegna to execute engravings based on his designs. Whatever the attribution, The Flagellation: With the Pavement remains one of the foremost engravings of the Italian Renaissance. Although Hind records some 43 impressions, for the most part in public collections, very rarely does one encounter examples as excellent as this and in such fine condition.