barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham


Anthony van Dyck (1599 – 1641)

Ecce Homo

Genoa, about 1625-6

Oil on canvas

101.5 x 78.7 cm

Christ, crowned with thorns, is clothed in a robe of imperial purple in mockery of his description as the King of the Jews. 

Van Dyck shows Christ as the Man of Sorrows with a single tear running down his face – an image of profound sadness and humility.  The format, with Christ’s body shown close up, confronts us with his human suffering.  The title, Ecce Homo, means Behold the Man – the words Pilate used to present Christ to the people before his crucifixion.

The great Flemish artist Van Dyck painted this work in Genoa during his stay in Italy (1621-7) for the noble Balbi family.

 

Purchased 1954 (No.54.4)

Bernardo Strozzi (1581 – 1644)

The Head of an Old Woman

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