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Christ Crowned with Thorns
David Teniers the Younger
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In a guardroom that looks more like a Flemish tavern than a prison, a crown of thorns is being placed on Christ’s head. This humiliating moment, recounted in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and John, was one of a number of such episodes in the lead-up to Christ’s crucifixion. Here, the henchmen wear contemporary dress, giving the scene an air of realism that was unusual for the time.

David Teniers the Younger is best known today for his representations of everyday life, but he also took on history subjects. He painted this scene on a copper plate, as its smooth surface was well suited to his highly finished painting technique and it preserved the vividness of the colours. The exceptionally large format of this copper plate suggests that the picture was a collector’s cabinet piece – a reminder that Teniers painted for a clientele far removed from the roguish characters he depicted.

Key facts
Artist David Teniers the Younger
Artist dates 1610 - 1690
Full title Christ Crowned with Thorns
Date made 1641
Medium and support Oil on copper
Dimensions 56.8 × 77 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Gift from the collection of Willem Baron van Dedem, 2017
Inventory number NG6665
Location in Gallery Not on display
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