Skip to main content

Hieronymus Bosch, Christ Mocked (The Crowning with Thorns)

Key facts
Full title Christ Mocked (The Crowning with Thorns)
Artist Hieronymus Bosch
Artist dates living 1474; died 1516
Date made about 1510
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 73.8 × 59 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1934
Inventory number NG4744
Location Room 27
Collection Main Collection
Christ Mocked (The Crowning with Thorns)
Hieronymus Bosch

Christ stares calmly out at us from the heart of this picture, his serenity a vivid contrast to the brutality of his tormentors. At the back are two soldiers, one about to force the crown of thorns onto Christ’s head. In front two men kneel in mock homage; one seems about to tear off Christ’s robe.

This is the only painting of Christ mocked now known that can be attributed to Bosch, and its upright format is highly unusual. It can't have been easy to imagine and Bosch clearly expended an enormous amount of effort on designing the picture, which is carefully structured through shape and colour. He toned down the violence of the scene: in the underdrawing (the preliminary outlining of the composition), the four men treat Christ with greater brutality. The changes make the picture more interesting and ambiguous: the men’s expressions are open to different interpretations.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

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.

Download low-resolution image

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

Creative Commons Logo