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Follower of Jan Mostaert, 'Christ crowned with Thorns', about 1520-30

Key facts
Full title Christ crowned with Thorns
Artist Follower of Jan Mostaert
Artist dates active 1498; died 1552/3
Date made about 1520-30
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 30.5 × 20.9 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Henry Wagner, 1924
Inventory number NG3900
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Christ crowned with Thorns
Follower of Jan Mostaert

The weeping Christ wears the crown of thorns; unusually, it still has some leaves on its stems. His hands are tied together with rope, but he holds a bundle of sticks in one and a long reed in the other. This picture is a simplified version of the figure of Christ crowned with thorns in the left wing of Jan Mostaert’s most famous painting, the so-called Oultremont Triptych (Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels).

There are a number of versions of the National Gallery’s picture (Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, UK; Museo de Burgos, Spain; and elsewhere) with slight variations in the arrangement of Christ’s hands, head and clothing. The triptych (painting in three parts) is thought to have been painted between late 1513 and around 1520. The composition of our panel was probably created before that of the versions in Brighton and elsewhere, perhaps around 1520. When it was actually painted remains an open question.

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