Christ seated on a step, wearing a long robe and crown of thorns, leaning toward his PR; soldier in armor at left pushes Christ's head down; bearded man with shaggy hair at right pokes at Christ with a short stick

Christ Crowned with Thorns, 1606

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The Richard Lewis Hillstrom Fundexpand_more  2012.93.2

Not on Viewexpand_more

This brutal depiction of Christ crowned by thorns is one of the last works Annibale Carracci executed. The artist had recently suffered a catastrophic mental breakdown, from which he never fully recovered. In the last four years of his life, when he could no longer cope with large-scale painting commissions, he devoted himself almost exclusively to drawings and prints. The works he produced in this period are affecting and intimate, and seem to express the depths of his despair. In this etching, with delicate, vibrant lines, Annibale depicts Christ softly illuminating the darkness. Yet he is shown in a state of anguished desolation, as his cruel tormentors relish in their physical abuse of him.

Details
Title
Christ Crowned with Thorns
Artist Life
Italian (Bologna), 1560-1609
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2012.93.2
Provenance
Luciana Simonetti, Lugt 3616, Rome (until d. 2003); European art market; [James Bergquist, Newton Centre, Mass., 2012; sold to MIA]
Catalogue Raisonne
DeGrazia Bohlin 21.I (Annibale); Bartsch XVIII.182.3, i/ii; Posner 174
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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Christ seated on a step, wearing a long robe and crown of thorns, leaning toward his PR; soldier in armor at left pushes Christ's head down; bearded man with shaggy hair at right pokes at Christ with a short stick