ID number: BIRBI-54.4
Institution: The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker: Dyck, Anthony van (1599-1641)
Title / Object name: Ecce Homo
Object type: Painting
Place made: Genoa
Date made: 1625/6
Materials: Oil on canvas
Measurements: 101.5 x 78.7 cm
Provenance: Francesco Maria Balbi, Genoa, 1701; purchased by Andrew Wilson, 13 November 1805; Coxe, London, 6 May 1807 (lot 32); Coxe, London, 28 May 1810 (lot 10); sold by Mr Berry, Glasgow to Sir Alexander Hope through Andrew Wilson, 1825; by descent to Earls of Hopetoun, the Marquess of Linlithgow; Christie's, 18 June 1954 (lot 38); Purchased at Christie's, London in 1954 for 8,000 guineas.
Christ, crowned with thorns, is clothed in a robe of imperial purple in mockery of his description as the King of the Jews. Van Dyck shows Christ as the Man of Sorrows with a single tear running down his face - an image of profound sadness and humility. The format, with Christ’s body shown close up, confronts us with his human suffering. The title, Ecce Homo, means Behold the Man - the words Pilate used to present Christ to the people before his crucifixion.
The great Flemish artist Van Dyck painted this work in Genoa for the noble Balbi family during his stay in Italy (1621-7).
Notes: Exhibited: 'Winter Exhibition', Royal Academy, London, UK, 1883, cat. no. 172; '17th century art in Europe', Royal Academy, London, UK, 1938, no. 73; 'Flemish Art', Royal Academy, London, UK, 1953, cat. no. 200; 'L'Art Flamand dans les Collections Britannique', Musée Communal, Bruges, Belgium, 1956, no. 86; 'Primitives to Picasso', Royal Academy, London, UK, 1961, no. 133; 'Van Dyck as Religious Artist', Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, USA, 1979, no. 33; 'Van Dyck: Grande pittura e collezionismo a Genoa', Palazzo Ducale, Genoa, Italy, 1997, no. 67; 'Van Dyck, 1599-1641', Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp and tour, Belgium, 1999, no. 39; 'Anthony van Dyck: Ecce Homo and the Mocking of Christ', Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Birmingham and tour, UK, 2002