South Netherlandish School um 1520/1530 - Christ on Mount Calvary
South Netherlandish School um 1520/1530
Christ on Mount Calvary
Oil on wood. 66.1 x 85.7 cm.
Infrared reflectography analysis of this panel has revealed an exceptionally free and confident under drawing, as well as some intriguing iconographic amendments made by this as yet unidentified Dutch artist during the composition of this work. Whilst the artist, working in around 1525/1530, originally envisioned a typical Ecce Homo motif with Christ standing before Pilate with his hands bound and wearing the crown of thorns, he later changed it to a more narrative composition that does not begin with the Man of Sorrows, but with a deeply resigned and humble saviour. The work combines several episodes from the Passion story in a single image: On the left, Christ is made ready for his journey to Golgotha, further in the background Pilate is shown discussing with his henchmen, in the distance the cross is being erected, and on the right the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Saint John have come together in a prayer of sorrow, forming a compositional balance to the figure of Christ. The simultaneous depiction of the Passion scenes is unusual and testifies to an independent artist who appears to have been highly familiar with Dürer's engravings. The figures and the stylised landscape background, depicted in bold lines, are drawn with a steady hand.
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam houses similar composition dated to around 1520, also depicting simultaneous scenes taking place on Mount Calvary. Professor Dr. Jan Piet Filedt Kok attributes the Amsterdam triptych to Jan Wellens de Cock (around 1470 - around 1521), an artist who could be linked to Cornelis Engebrechtsz. in Leiden before working independently in Antwerp. The present work, which combines stylistic elements from Flanders and Leiden, can be attributed to an artist from de Cock's circle (J. P. Filedt, W. Gibson et. E.: Cornelis Engebrechttsz. A sixteenth-century Leiden artist and his workshop, 2014, p. 7-9, illus. 8).
Sotheby´s, New York, 2019 (as Leiden School, ca. 1530). - Private collection, Germany.