Skip to main content

Matteo di Giovanni, Christ Crowned with Thorns

Key facts
Full title Christ Crowned with Thorns
Artist Matteo di Giovanni
Artist dates active 1452; died 1495
Date made 1480-95
Medium and support Tempera on wood
Dimensions 21.6 × 21.6 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1854
Inventory number NG247
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Christ Crowned with Thorns
Matteo di Giovanni

After being condemned to death, Christ was forcibly crowned with a wreath of thorns. This was the Roman soldiers‘ attempt to humiliate him as, amongst other things, Christ was accused of claiming to be ‘the king of the Jews’. Images like this confronted viewers with Christ’s suffering, encouraging their empathy and leading to deeper devotion.

Christ’s halo – not always included in such images – is inscribed with the abbreviated Greek version of Christ’s name, meaning ’Jesus Christ of Nazareth'. The Latin script around the edges of the picture comes from the New Testament book of Philippians (2: 10). The same verse is sometimes inscribed on the plaque of Saint Bernardino, a fervent preacher active in Siena in the fifteenth century who promoted devotion to the name of Jesus.

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