Ecce Homo (c.1475)

Antonello da Messina (c.1430-1479)

Ecce Homo (Christ Crowned with Thorns)
Oil and tempera on wood, 42.5 x 30.5 cm
Metropolitan Museum of ArtNew York

An artist of astonishing originality, Antonello combined a Netherlandish mastery of description with an Italian emphasis on formal presentation and expression. This painting may date as early as 1470. To increase its function as an aid to meditation, Christ is shown behind a parapet—a convention Antonello appropriated from portraiture. The device enhances the effect of Christ’s physical presence and suffering: “a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). (MET)