Ecce Homo ("Behold the Man")
German (probably Augsburg)
first half of the 17th century
Object Place: probably Augsburg, Germany
15.2 x 18.6 cm (6 x 7 5/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Alyce Morrissey Gallery (Kunstkammer) (Gallery 143)
Plaquette depicting Ecce Homo.
This rare plaquette does not seem to be based on a well-known print as are most contemporary plaquettes of this sort. It depicts Jesus after the Flagellation when he is brought by Pilate into the praetorium (tribunal hall) and mocked by the soldiers who stripped him of his purple cloak of authority (Mark 15: 16-20; John 19: 5). Compositionally- and iconographically-related renderings of this theme seem to have been especially popular in Augsburg. (See the paintings and drawings by Christian Steinmüller (1587-1651), Johann König (1586-1642)1 and Daniel Neuberger (1620-between 1674 and 1681). The only other known cast of the plaquette is an ungilded example in the Museo di Palazzo Venezia in Rome.
This scene from the passion of Christ engages the viewer directly in the scene by showing the figures in a close-up view. The body of Christ almost presses into the space of the spectator, who thus plays the role of one of the crowd to which Pontius Pilate presents Christ after the Flagellation.
1976, David Peel, London; John Goelet; 1976, year-end gift of Goelet to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 12, 1977)
Gift of John Goelet in honor of Hanns Swarzenski