Andrea Solario - inv. 1647

Andrea Solario (ca. 1465-1524)

Ecce Homo
1505-1506 c.
  
43 x 33 cm
1879 bequest Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli
Inv. 1647

Lombard Rooms
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The painting shows the bust of Christ, in a decidedly frontal position, with rope-bound wrists and the crown of thorns. The highly realistic depiction of the face shows a few tears and drops of blood falling from wounds on his forehead.
As in the Gospels texts, Jesus is depicted with the regal emblems the soldiers had adorned him with in mockery: the crown of thorns, the purple cloak and the reed sceptre as a mock symbol of power. Wounds inflicted by his tormentors can be seen on his naked shoulder and arm, while, with Christ’s downcast eyes, Solario seems to be representing a moment of resigned meditation on the Passion.

Realised with extreme technical precision and the colour laid on to a very compact gesso ground, the panel is still in excellent condition, even though the wooden support has been cut down at the edges. As demonstrated by the various versions of this subject by Solario, his iconographic choice of isolating the central character from the scene of Pilate presenting Christ to the people met with much success during his career.

From a stylistic point of view, there is clear reference to Antonello da Messina’s works and to Flemish painting in the extreme accuracy of the details, such as the thorn piercing Christ’s brow, the tears running down his cheeks.
Various dates have been put forward for this work, but the majority of experts propose a dating to about 1505-1506.