The Man of Sorrows

Artist: Michele Giambono (Michele Giovanni Bono) (Italian, active Venice 1420–62)

Date: ca. 1430

Medium: Tempera and gold on wood

Dimensions: Overall, with engaged frame, 21 5/8 x 15 1/4 in. (54.9 x 38.7 cm); painted surface 18 1/2 x 12 1/4 in. (47 x 31.1 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1906

Accession Number: 06.180

Description

Depicted upright in his tomb, his hands extended to display his wounds, the blood and crown of thorns rendered in relief, this exquisitely rendered Jesus has been conceived as a focus for meditation. A diminutive Saint Francis receives the Stigmata and becomes a surrogate for the viewer. Elaborately framed, with the reverse painted to imitate porphyry—a stone with imperial associations—the picture would have been a precious object of devotion, perhaps for a Franciscan friar. The pattern on the deteriorated background derives from Islamic textiles.

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