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Titian (Tiziano Vecellio), Italian, c.1485-90–1576
Christ Shown to the People (Ecce Homo), c.1570–76
oil on canvas
43 x 37 5/16 inches
Museum Purchase 10:1936

Although the title of this painting is Christ Shown to the People, the artist has chosen to depict what happens before Jesus is actually shown to the crowd. To the right stands the elderly governor Pontius Pilate (PON-chus PI-lut), wearing a luxurious costume trimmed with fur and decorated with jewels. On the left is a young servant, also dressed in elaborate clothing. In contrast, the bearded figure of Jesus Christ stands between the two, covered only in a simple cloth and wearing a crown of thorns. Christ’s downturned gaze expresses humility; Pontius Pilate looks off to the right expectantly; the young boy looks to the right with an expression of animated anticipation. The simple composition and dark tones of the painting invite us to contemplate the scene and speculate on what will come next.

For younger students:
Compare and contrast this painting with Rembrandt’s Christ Presented to the People (“The Ecce Homo”).
Choose one of the people in the painting and tell what you think he was doing before this scene takes place.

For older students:
Some sections of this work are painted in fine detail, while others are rendered in loose brushwork. Identify examples of both, and discuss the effect this has on how you see the painting. Compare and contrast this painting with Rembrandt’s Christ Presented to the People (“The Ecce Homo”).
What has each artist chosen to emphasize? How might the differences in these works change the way we relate to the event and its characters?

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