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Master of the Bruges Passion Scenes, Christ presented to the People

Key facts
Full title Christ presented to the People
Artist Master of the Bruges Passion Scenes
Artist dates active early 16th century
Date made about 1510
Medium and support Oil on oak
Dimensions 93.4 × 41.5 cm
Inscription summary Inscribed
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Mrs Joseph H. Green, 1880
Inventory number NG1087
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Christ presented to the People
Master of the Bruges Passion Scenes

Several episodes of the story of the Passion (Christ’s torture and crucifixion) are packed into this busy painting. The narrative begins in the background on the left, where Christ is scourged. In the next scene he has been crowned with thorns and dressed in a purple (now blue) robe; he holds a reed in his right hand and is mocked by the soldiers.

In the foreground, the Roman governor Pontius Pilate leads Christ out and says ‘Ecce Homo’ (‘Behold the man’). On seeing him, the chief priests and officers called for Christ’s crucifixion; Pilate replied, ‘Take ye him and crucify him: for I find no fault in him’ (John 19: 6). The foremost figures are presumably the chief priests, with the ‘officers’ behind them.

We don't know the identity of the painter, but he was an eclectic artist, borrowing whole scenes and individual figures from other artists, among them Martin Schongauer, Hans Memling and Albrecht Dürer.

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