Web Content Viewer (JSR 286)

Actions
Loading...
  • Mocking of Christ

    Artist:
    Maes, Nicolaes (?). 1634-1693
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    190,5x119,5 cm

Maes, Nicolaes (?). 1634-1693

Mocking of Christ

Holland, 1650s

‘Mocking of Christ’(Matthew, 27: 28-30; Mark, 15: 17-19; Luke, 22: 63-65; John, 19: 2-3) is an early work by Nicolaes Maes, one of the most talented pupils of Rembrandt. Following the Gospel narratives he seeks to gain an insight into the events described in the Bible. The exhausted Christ has already suffered much humiliation - we see the broken sticks on the ground with which he has been beaten down; on the head of "the King of the Jews" is the crown of thorns; one of the torturers is putting a "sceptre" - in fact a reed - in Christ's hand. Christ's face reflects a mixture of grief, humility and inexpressible sorrow for all the unrighteous. Maes treats the image of Christ in a way reminiscent of Rembrandt, as a man of earthly flesh and blood, a man who has undergone terrible suffering, but a man who laments not for himself but for others, and forgives them their trespasses. The legionnaries are also treated in an unconventional manner, for two of them watch Christ’s face with intense eagerness, brought to a halt by his humility and pain. Their clothing looks somewhat theatrical and only the helmet resembles the attire of a legionnaire. The figures are life- sized, which enhances the dramatic effect of the scene and reinforces its credibility. Maes emphasizes the scarlet of the robe, in which Jesus will be attired during his trial, in the olive-green colour scheme in order to affirm the idea of Truth and Immortality.

Title:

Mocking of Christ

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

190,5x119,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1919; handed over from the State Museum Fund; originally in the L.A. Musina-Pushkina collection in Petrograd

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-6242

Comment:

The painting is identified with the work ‘Christ Crowned with Thorns’ which, when it was in the Stanislaw August collection, was attributed to Rembrandt, and was sold at a post mortem auction in October 1798 to Chancellor, Prince А. А. Bezborodko, for one thousand roubles [Belkovskaya 2012]. Subsequently the painting was inherited by Count A.G. Kushelev-Bezborodko, which he handed down to his son, Count G.A. Kushelev-Bezborodko. In 1869 the canvas was exhibited in Paris, but was not sold and returned to St.Petersburg, where it passed into the ownership of L.A. Musina-Pushkina (nee Kusheleva-Bezborodko). The attribution of this impressive and in many respects enigmatic painting changed many times. Taken as Rembrandt’s work, it was described in the inventory of the Chancellor А. А. Bezborodko collection drawn up by I. Gauf in late 18th century (the inventory number in the Bezborodko collection can be found in the lower left corner of the painting). Rembrandt’s authorship remained unchanged until mid-19th century.

Category:

Collection:

User collections including this work of art: