Remember Your Latin? — Ecce Homo by Antonio Ciseri - YoutubeRandom

Remember Your Latin? — Ecce Homo by Antonio Ciseri

ECCE HOMO by Antonio Cisceri, circa between 1871, Oil on canvas. THIS PAINTING IS AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE as a handmade oil painting reproduction here:

Those of you who are up on your Latin know, “ecce homo” means “behold the man.” They are the words uttered by Pontius Pilate, when he presented Christ, scourged and crowned with thorns to the assembled mob, just before Jesus’ crucifixion.
It’s a scene illustrated in paintings and sculpture for the last 2000 years. Some have played it intimate, some have made it a spectacle, others downright brutal.
However this painting, “Ecce Homo, by Antonio Ciseri takes a wholly difference perspective. We, the viewer are taken behind the scene, looking at the proceedings as if we were an official or a servant of Pilate. The painting works largely because of Cisceri’s gift as a realist painter, and the linear and atmospheric perspective adds to our belief that we ourselves are part of the scene.
The central figure appears to be Pontius Pilate himself. Clad in sheer light robes, he is positioned in the center of the painting. The eye can’t help but focus on him. He is addressing the crowd but his outstretched hand leads us to Jesus, who is accused of conspiring again the Roman Empire.
Jesus is wearing a scarlet robe, having been stripped of his own garments as to mock him, red being the color worn by emperors and kings, and crowned with a wreath thorns placed on his head. His back is bare, and bleeding from the flagellation.
Every figure standing on the balcony in the painting faces out, away from us, so that we see but a profile or just the side of their face, save one person, the wife of Pontius Pilate. Her’s is the single figure seen full-faced. She warns her husband, “Have thou nothing to do with that just man; for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him." Matt 27:19
She’s turned her back on the proceedings, and places her hand on a servant to steady herself. The servant, in turn, holds her arm, lest she faint. But it’s only as we contemplate her distress do we realize that she, is in fact the central figure in this play. She is mentioned but one time in the bible, and is unnamed, but as God spoke to her, she will later become Saint Claudia as per later Christian tradition.
So what appears to be a secondary character is actually the main character. A clever misdirection on the part of the Cisceri, but one which enhances our appreciation of this wonderful painting.
I’m Larry Withers and this has been your 2-minute Masterpiece.


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