Welcome to the brand new Arthive! Discover a full list of new features here.

Behold The Man (Ecce Homo)

Hieronymus Bosch • Painting, 1500, 71.1×60.5 cm
About the artwork
Art form: Painting
Subject and objects: Religious scene
Style of art: Northern Renaissance
Technique: Oil, Tempera
Materials: Wood
Date of creation: 1500
Size: 71.1×60.5 cm
Content 18+
Artwork in selections: 22 selections

Description of the artwork «Behold The Man (Ecce Homo)»

Crowned with thorns Jesus stands on a stone pedestal of the Palace of Pontius Pilate, surrounded by the Governor and his minions. His body half naked and torn with whips, and the blood flowing from the wounds on his body dripping on the stones. And below rages a motley crowd, the faces of which was written by the malice and cruelty. The crowd are chanting Crucifige eum ("Crucify him!"). This is a requirement emanating from the crowd, written in gold Gothic letters. The same looks and replica of Pilate, which gave the name of the painting Ecce Homo ("Behold the man"). Third replica is written gold Gothic letters, located on the diagonal along the base. Her words Salve nos Christe redemptor ("Save us, Christ Redeemer!") once belonged to the donators (customers), whose figures, for unknown reasons, was later recorded, but over time their silhouettes re-appeared in the bottom left of a painting by Bosch.

Ecce Homo, along with "Crowning with thorns", "Carrying the cross" etc., belongs to the series of paintings of Hieronymus Bosch, on the topic of the last days of the earthly life of Christ (the so-called "passion of Christ"). An interesting feature of the composition Ecce Homo is that it is clearly divided into four parts, as if the center of the Board was located invisible cross, clenase picture into almost equal fourths. The upper left corner given subjected to reproach Christ, Pilate, and high priests. In the upper right (to move the viewer's eye, if moving clockwise) is a remote and tranquil landscape painted in pink and blue tones. Architecturally, it resembles not Jerusalem, but rather the Dutch city, a modern Bosch. One of the buildings is decorated with the Turkish flag with a Crescent moon, obviously, is an allusion to the confrontation of Christian and Muslim faiths, that in the days when I lived Bosch, a Christian Shrine had already been captured by Muslims.

In the lower right corner tightly spaced characters with grotesque faces, requiring Pilate to execute Jesus. Interesting attempt by Bosch to visually convey the paganism of the crowd through the alternating bright enough pseudo-Eastern outfits and varied and sometimes bizarre hats. Some of them are even inverted funnel such as Bosch dressed characters of different paintings of a monk in "Extracting the stone of stupidity", the demon-bird in "the Temptation of St. Anthony". The funnel is interpreted as a symbol of cunning, false wisdom, something not well understood and ominous. Toad on the shield at the right edge of the painting is also the symbol of the dark: alchemy (introduction to its foundations the work of Hieronymus Bosch, shows constantly) the toad is the symbol of sulphur, a smell which is traditionally associated with the approach of the devil. In the stone niche above the head of Pilate (it is located accurately on the Central axis of the picture) you can see another boshevski a symbol of evil and of the devil – constant owl, perhaps, the most frequent guest in the paintings of Bosch.

The depravity of human nature, the sinfulness of man – and at the same time, the urgent need for salvation was not only the theme of the painting Ecce Homo, but the main theme of the entire work of Hieronymus Bosch.

Author: Anna Yesterday