- Reference number
- Dyck, Anton van (Flemish),
- The Crown of Thorns
- 225 cm x 197 cm
- On display
- Colección Real (Real Monasterio de San Lorenzo, El Escorial-Madrid, Sala de Capítulos Prioral o de Oriente, en la banda frente a las ventanas, 1656-1839).
Various figures surround and mock Christ. An armed soldier and an executioner place the Crown of Thorns on him, whicl another offers him a stick as a scepter. Two other figures watch the scene through the window.
This is a work from Van Dyck's youth, when he showed a great influence from Venetian painting. Thus, the figure of Jesus is directly based on a model by Titian. The composition, with Christ as its axis, derives from his apprenticeship with Rubens, as does the chiaroscuro, which Rubens used during the early decades of the seventeenth century.
This work was made in various stages. The dog and the men in the window are latter additions, and some pentimenti are also visible: a foot between Christ and the dog, and a hand on the far right, beside the executioner's elbow.
The artist gave this work to Rubens. When the latter died, it was acquired by Felipe IV, who sent it to the Monastery of El Escorial. From there, it entered the Prado Museum in 1839.