Ecce Homo

Creation date
oil and gold leaf on wood
24 x 20-1/2 in. 31-5/8 x 28 in. (framed)
Credit line
Courtesy of The Clowes Fund
Accession number
Currently On View

With the words, "Ecce Homo" (Behold the Man), Pilate presents Christ to a grotesque throng of accusers and tormentors who demand his crucifixion.  In one of the most dramatic moments from the Passion, Bosch confronts the viewer with an expressive contrast between the serene, gentle face of Christ and the cruel, distorted faces of the mob.  Mocked as King of the Jews, Christ is crowned with thorns and robed with a royal cloak. His hands are tied with a rope held by Pilate and an executioner. To the left, Pharisees and informers argue among themselves.

Sir Richard Levinge [1911-1984], Knockdrin Castle, Ireland; to (C. Marshall Spink, London), possibly via (Adolf Fritz Mondschein, Vienna) in 1939. {1} (E. and A. Silberman, New York); {2} G.H. A. [George Henry Alexander] Clowes [1877-1958], Indianapolis, in 1941;Clowes Fund Collection, Indianapolis, since 1958; on long-term loan to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Courtesy of the Clowes Fund, since 1971 (C10006); given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2014.

{1}Spink corresponded with G.H. A. Clowes in 1956-57; informing Clowes that he bought the painting from Sir Richard Levinge, see Clowes Archive, Indianapolis Museum of Art, letters dated 6 April 1956 and 15 February 1957. In the letter, Spink relates that he was recently in contact with Levinge to learn the origin of the painting; Levinge reported that he had no old records.
The Friedländer Project of the RKD, Den Haag, contains a photograph of the painting bearing a Friedländer notation on the verso that reads: “Spink London/ d.[urch]Mondschein/VI.39.” It is possible, but not confirmed, that Spink had business connections with Adolf Fritz Mondschein, later known as Frederick Mont after his emigration to the US in 1939, during this period.
{2}Abris Silberman congratulates G.H.C. Clowes on his recent purchase of this picture, see IMA Clowes Archive, letter dated 24 February 1941.
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