BARTOLOMÉ ESTEBAN MURILLO

Seville 1617 – 1682

Ecce Homo

Circa 1655 – 1660

Oil on canvas

166 x 107 cm.

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BARTOLOMÉ ESTEBAN MURILLO

Seville 1617 – 1682

This newly discovered canvas of the Ecce Homo by Murillo is the only known version of this subject known aside from an inferior version in the Museum of Fine Art, Murcia. Due to the lack of an alternative, the latter had traditionally been considered to be the pair to a very fine Virgin of Sorrows also by Murillo in the Museum of Fine Arts, Seville, however the appearance of the present canvas has now convincingly challenged scholarly opinion.

These two canvases share characteristics typical of Murillo at the peak of his abilities; the same psychological intensity of the facial features and gestures, the deeply sculptural forms of the drapery and the intense beams of light that illuminate the protagonists against an almost entirely black background. With this Ecce Homo Murillo also demonstrated his great skill in his rendering of the male form with its broad but unidealized musculature. Also, in keeping with counter-reformist precepts, Christ is depicted without his terrible wounds but instead displays a deep melancholy and a very human interpretation of one man’s ultimate sacrifice.

Enrique Valdivieso

Technical data

BARTOLOMÉ ESTEBAN MURILLO

Seville 1617 – 1682

Ecce Homo

Circa 1655 – 1660

Oil on canvas

166 x 107 cm.