Federico Barocci - The Head of Christ with the Crown of Thorns
The Head of Christ with the Crown of Thorns
Chalk pastel in black, white, red, and ochre on tinted paper. 30 x 21 cm.
This drawing depicts the head of Christ, lowered and moving in its devotion, but without visible signs of pain or wounds. Some thorns protrude from his temples, but they barely stand out from his hair or beard. The painter has used chalk pastels in various colours; his soft, fleeting strokes outline the face in a manner that is as delicate as it is precise, which immediately recalls the head studies of Federico Barocci.
Although it is not possible to find a direct connection between this drawing and any of Barocci's paintings, for example with his “Crucifixion” in the Galleria Nazionale in Urbino, there are similarities and links between this work and some sketches of the head of Christ by Barocci in Berlin (Staatliche Museen, inv. KdZ 20264), as well as a further depiction of the same subject in Cambridge (The Fitzwilliam Museum, inv. 1978).
This drawing was long in the possession of the Dutch art collector, connoisseur and museum curator Iohan Quirijmnvan Regteren Altena. It first came to the attention of researchers in the course of the dispersal of his collection in 2015.
I. Q. Van Regteren Altena Collection, Amsterdam. - Christie´s, Amsterdam 25.03.2015, lot 27.