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


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.