Christ Crowned with Thorns (Ecce Homo), and the Mourning Virgin (Mater Dolorosa)

Adriaen Isenbrant Netherlandish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 636

In this austere and haunting image, Isenbrant depicts Christ in the form of an Ecce homo—presented to the people of Jerusalem by Pilate, the Roman prefect of the city, prior to being led off to be crucified. He wears a crown of thorns and on his exposed torso bears the wounds from his flagellation. The hostile crowd, however, is omitted. Seen up close, in half-length and nearly life-size, Christ and his mother have been isolated for devotional contemplation. They are presented directly to the viewer, who becomes Christ’s judge as well as a participant in the Virgin’s grief.

Christ Crowned with Thorns (Ecce Homo), and the Mourning Virgin (Mater Dolorosa), Adriaen Isenbrant (Netherlandish, active by 1510–died 1551 Bruges), Oil on canvas, transferred from wood

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