Caravaggio 1573 – 1610

The Crowning with Thorns

oil on canvas (127 × 166 cm) — c. 1601 Museum Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Caravaggio biography

This work is linked to Mark 15:17

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In order to inflict pain on Jesus while he is on his way to the Cross, a crown made of thorns is put on his head. It was also meant as a way to mock him: in stead of a real crown the King of the Jews is given this thorny one.

The torturers use sticks to apply the crown. Jesus endures the pain with patience. A man in armour observes the torture; his position is that of boredom.

The canvas was probably commissioned by the Roman banker and art collector Vincenzo Giustiniani.

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