Skip to main content
Christ Crowned with Thorns
Dirk Bouts
/

Christ wears the rich cloak and the crown of thorns in which, according to the Gospels, he was dressed before he was crucified. But the wounds of the Passion (his torture and crucifixion) indicate that he has already died and been resurrected.

Bouts brings Jesus’s torments vividly to life, showing him close up and in agonising detail. Our eyes are drawn to the blue shadows of the thorns thrust deep into his forehead and those around the holes in his hands. His translucent tears mingle with the blood dripping down his face.

This graphic image might seem shocking now, but in the late fifteenth century images of the weeping and suffering Christ were very popular, and were produced in large numbers in the workshop of Bouts and his followers. Small devotional paintings like this were used to aid private prayer.

Key facts
Artist Dirk Bouts
Artist dates 1400? - 1475
Full title Christ Crowned with Thorns
Date made about 1470
Medium and support Oil with egg tempera on canvas backed onto board, transferred from wood
Dimensions 43.8 x 37.1 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Mrs Joseph H. Green, 1880
Inventory number NG1083
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo