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Christ, crowned with thorns, is clothed in a robe of imperial purple in mockery of his description as the King of the Jews. Van Dyck shows Christ as the Man of Sorrows, with a single tear running down his face – an image of profound sadness and humility. The format, with Christ’s body shown close up, confronts us with his human suffering. The title, 'Ecce Homo', means 'behold the man' – the words Pilate used to present Christ to the people before his crucifixion.

  • Date

    c.1625–1626

  • Medium

    oil on canvas

  • Measurements

    101.5 x 78.7 cm

  • Accession number

    54.4

  • Acquisition method

    purchased, 1954

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Normally on display at

The Barber Institute of Fine Arts

University of Birmingham Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands B15 2TS England

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