The National Museum of Western Art

update 04 June 2019

on display Permanent collection

Dirk Bouts (follower of) [Haarlem, c. 1415 - Leuven, 1475]

Christ Crowned with Thorns

Materials/Techniquesoil on panel
Size (cm)44 x 30.5
InscriptionsInscription by a later hand on the lower part of the frame: per via, Atéd[ite] et [vi]dete (overwritten on the half-effaced inscription in capital letters: PERVIA ATED[...] ET VIDETE); on the back of the panel: Esta ymagen, m[and]o, / En su testam[ent]o, A este monas / t[eri]o, de la concepcíon, de / la puebla, la muy ill[ustr]e, señora / doña leonor chacõ partona / y fùdadora, del dicho monast[eri]o / Mandoselas con cõ dicion / que no las puedan dar ni / prestar, y que si las prestarã / las puedan tomar los cleri / gos para la yglesia de es / ta villa
Credit LinePurchased
CategoryPaintings
Collection NumberP.1980-0003
Christ Crowned with Thorns
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This panel painting with gold background has a semicircular top edge and depicts a half-length image of Christ wearing a scarlet robe with hands clasped relatively high on his chest and crowned with thorns. The Latin inscription on the lower front edge of the frame, which states PER VIA ATENDITE ET VIDETE is the second half of the text of Lamentations 1:12, "Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow." Christ faces forward and his emotive face is inclined towards his right, the viewer's left, with his gaze also turned towards the same direction. These factors indicate that the painting was originally the right painting in a pair or diptych, and it can easily be surmised that the pendant work would have been an image of the Grieving Madonna inscribed with the first half of the text, "is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by" . Here Christ is shown wearing a long-sleeved scarlet robe, with hands clasped in front of his chest. This pose differs from that of the "Ecce Homo" image with his hands widespread, and also diverges from the "Man of Sorrows" image with its lack of his wounds. According to Panofsky, this new type of Christ iconography known as the "Imago Salvatoris Coronati," combining the Salvator Mundi with Christ suffering the Passion, was created by Dirk Bouts. Members of Bouts' studio made a number of copies of this image to be paired with images of the Grieving Madonna. According to Schöne, this painting is one of the best replicas of the original Bouts painting thought to have been created around 1450. The red-eyed figure of Christ, crying as he suffers, combined with the crying figure of the Madonna reflects the careful finishing of details and the sentimentalism-laden religious sensibility characteristic of Bouts and early Flemish painting.(Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no. 7)

Provenance

Doña Leonor Chacón; Monasterio de la Concepción, La Puebla; Cabot, Barcelona; W. Simonsen, São Paulo; K. Gratwohl, Zürich-Erlenbach; Sotheby Parke Bernet, London; Purchased by the NMWA, 1980.

Exhibition History

1957
Dieric Bouts, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Bruxelles, 1957 - 1958, Museum Prinsenhof, Delft, cat. no. 22, repr.
1996
The Crossing Visions: European and Modern Japanese Art from the Collections of The National Museum of Western Art & The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, 20 July 1996 - 8 September 1996, cat. no. 57
2014
Voices Calling from the Unusual: Hirano Keiichiro's Selection of Western Art Masterpieces, National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 8 April 2014 - 15 June 2014, cat. no. 25
2014
The Rings from The Hashimoto Collection of The National Museum of Western Art, The National Museum of Western Art, 8 July 2014 - 15 September 2014, cat. no. 156

Bibliography

1938
Schöne, Wolfgang. Dieric Bouts und seine Schule. Berlin/Leipzig, 1938, p. 129, no. 19A, repr. fig. 48-b.
1944
Michel, Edouard. L'école flamande du XVe siècle au Musée du Louvre. Bruxelles, 1944, p. 94.
1953
Davies, Martin. The National Gallery, vol. 1. Antwerpen, 1953, (Les Primitifs Flamands, I. Corpus de la peinture des anciens Pays-Bas méridionaux au quinzième siècle, no. 3), p. 34.
1957
Baudoin, Frans. Dieric Bouts (exh. cat.). Palais des Beaux-Arts, Bruxelles; Museum Prinsenhof, Delft, 1957-58, pp. 66-67.
1961
Eisler, Colin Tobias. New England Museums. Antwerpen, 1961, (Les Primitifs Flamands, I. Corpus de la peinture des anciens Pays-Bas méridionaux au quinzième siècle, no. 4), p. 59.
1981
Kanbara, Masaaki. Dieric Bouts "Christ Crowned with Thorns ", Fukushima Prefsctual Museum of Art, Museum News, no. 15, 1981, pp. 5-7.
1982
Annual Bulletin of the National Museum of Western Art. No. 15 (1980), 1982, Mayekawa, Seiro. On the New Acquisitions 1980. pp. 8-12, Catalogue of the New Acquisitions 1980. pp. 22, 24, repr.
1982
Chronique des Arts. Gazette des Beaux-Arts. ser. 6, tome 99, March 1982, p. 72, no. 381, repr.
1982
Maekawa, Seiro. Ecrin. Arts And Monuments Of The World. No. 10, Tokyo, 1982, pp. 36-38, repr.
1983
Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, 1983 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 4, repr.
1989
Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, 1989 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 4, repr.
1989
Kobayashi-Sato, Yoriko. Catalogue of Dutch and Flemish Paintings in Japan I. Annual Report Bridgestone Museum of Art & Ishibashi Museum of Art. no. 37 (1988), 1989, p. 37, no. 2, repr.
1990
Catalogue of painting acquisitions: 1979-1989. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, 1990, pp. 21-22, repr.
1999
Kofuku, Akira. Tears Running Down the Cheeks, Rogier van der Weyden and the Expression of Emotions in Early Flemish Painting. Journal of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. No. 3, 1999, pp. 5-20, repr. [with English Abstract]
2006
Masterpieces of The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art; Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2006 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 7, col. repr.
2009
Masterpieces of The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art; Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2009, no. 7, col. repr.
2013
Masterpieces: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2013 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 6, col. repr.
2018
Kofuku, Akira. Catalogue of Dutch and Flemish Paintings, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. [Tokyo], The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo; The Western Art Foundation, 2018, pp. 26-28, no. 2, col. repr.

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