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European Paintings - Ital. 16th c.

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Ecce Homo

early 1570s
16th century
108 cm x 98 cm (42 1/2 in. x 38 9/16 in.)

Luca Cambiaso (Moneglia, Italy, 1527 - 1585, El Escorial, Spain) Primary

Object Type: painting
Artist Nationality: Europe, Italian
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Accession Number: 2017.963

"Ecce Homo," a Latin phrase meaning “behold the man,” represents a scene from the Passion. Pontius Pilate presents Jesus, bound and crowned with thorns, before a crowd demanding his crucifixion. Here the tumult of the scene is replaced with a quiet, almost meditative atmosphere.

The simplicity of narrative closely reflects the religious and artistic environment in which Luca Cambiaso worked. Faced with the rise of Protestantism in the sixteenth century, the Catholic Church carried out a series of reforms, now referred to as the Counter-Reformation. During this period, the Catholic Church encouraged artists to make decorous images with minimal distractions, like this painting, to communicate the Catholic doctrines effectively. Through its simplified composition, Cambiaso’s "Ecce Homo" invites the viewer to focus on the suffering of Jesus.

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