Master Paintings & Sculpture Part I

Master Paintings & Sculpture Part I

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 10. Christ as the Man of Sorrows.

Property of an American Private Collector

Hispano-Flemish School, circa 1490

Christ as the Man of Sorrows

Auction Closed

January 28, 04:44 PM GMT

Estimate

150,000 - 200,000 USD

Lot Details

Description

Property of an American Private Collector

Hispano-Flemish School, circa 1490

Christ as the Man of Sorrows


oil on oak panel

15 3/4 by 12 1/4 in.; 40 by 31.1 cm. 

With Valery Taylor Gallery;
From whom acquired by Hester Diamond, New York, December 1990 (as Hispano Flemish Master, circa 1480-1500, trained in the circle of Hugo van der Goes);
From whom acquired by the present collector. 

In this small yet powerful depiction of Christ as the Man of Sorrows, Christ seems to release his final breath. The simplicity of the black background helps to draw all attention to Christ's corporeal figure, which extends outward toward the audience, particularly along the lower edge, creating an even more intimate engagement with the viewer. Christ's figure is perfectly balanced in the center of a simple composition, and the gold of the framing device is delicately replicated in the golden Fleur-de-lis rays that surround his down-turned head crowned with a thick wreath of thorns. Down his brightly illuminated body fall beads of blood, that both drip into his eyes and mouth, while also gathering in the crevice of his collarbone and the palm of his hand. Paralleling these droplets on his face are translucent beads of tears and sweat that fall downward to his beard.  


The origin of this striking image lies in a Byzantine icon housed in the church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome by 1385-1386. It's popularity spread throughout Europe in the 15th century, and while it did find a strong foothold in the Netherlands, for example in the workshop of Hugo van der Goes, it was also popular throughout the Iberian peninsula, where such small paintings of devotion were in high demand.  


The specific painting method of the black hatching on the gold trompe-l’oeil frame is found in Rogier van der Weyden's Seven Sacraments Altarpiece (Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp) as well as in the work of the Master of the Saint Ursula Legend, notably his Virgin and Child in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That these motifs entered into the work of Iberian artists is, of course, not at all surprising given the vast influx of Netherlandish art into the Burgundian ruled Spanish peninsula. The intensity and specificity with which Christ's blood, sweat, and tears are rendered, however, are a particularly Spanish trait.