Ecce Homo

WAG 1995.54


'Ecce homo', meaning 'Behold the man', were the words used by Pontius Pilate to present Jesus Christ to the crowd before his Crucifixion. In this drawing, Pilate stands on the left, gesturing to Christ who has been flagellated and wears a crown of thorns. The term 'ecce homo' became standard in Western art to refer to depicitions of Christ bound and crowned with thorns, either accompanied by Pilate or alone. Alessandro Casolani (1552/53 - 1607) was an Italian artist based largely in Siena. He was highly regarded as an artist during his lifetime, but, according to a contemporary, he was too modest to achieve as much as he deserved. WAG 1995.55, 'Christ appearing to St Catherine of Siena', also attributed to Casolini, has a similar depiction of Christ's halo. This drawing was previously owned by William Roscoe (1753 - 1831) who thought it was by Raffaellino da Reggio (1550 - 1578).