Christ Crowned with Thorns

11008458-2007_028_001_Apa_ARC.tif

Artist

Annibale Carracci, Italian, 1560-1609

Title

Christ Crowned with Thorns

Date

1606

Medium/Dimensions

Etching
6 15/16 x 5 3/16 in. (17.6 x 13.2 cm)

Object Number

2007.028.001

Description

Carracci is credited with the "reform" of Italian painting at the end of the sixteenth century, moving away from the artificiality of Mannerism to a more direct and natural style. Carracci went to Rome from his native Bologna in 1595. There, he created his greatest work, the mythological fresco cycle on the ceiling of the Galleria Farnese, an accomplishment comparable to Michelangelo's ceiling in the Sistine Chapel.

Unhappily, as Carracci's biographers relate, the artist was paid an insultingly low wage for this magnificent work, and this blow is said to have been the cause of the deep melancholy from which he suffered for the rest of his life. This etching, Christ Crowned with Thorns, dates from the year immediately following the completion of the Farnese ceiling. It is thought that the stark and somber nature of the image's setting is due to Carracci's depression as well as to the subject matter.

In this print, the artist has depicted the faces of Christ's tormentors in a grotesque fashion, their physical ugliness making manifest their cruelty and evil. Earlier in his career, around 1590, Carracci had invented the art of caricature, making humorous portraits that exaggerated his subject's physical traits in order to emphasize certain aspects of their personalities. Here, however, late in his life, this aptitude for a telling portrayal is used to a darker effect.

Credit Line

Museum purchase

Exhibits/Publications

Old Masters: Highlights of the Works on Paper Collection, Michael C. Carlos Museum, August 15 - December 6, 2009|
A Harlot's Progress: Hogarth's Comic History, Michael C. Carlos Museum, October 1 - December 4, 2011
MCCM Newsletter, September - November, 2009.

Rights

© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2008.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View

No

Citation

Annibale Carracci, Italian, 1560-1609, “Christ Crowned with Thorns,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed July 21, 2018, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/7593.

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