Pontius Pilate Washing his HandsCa. 1500. Oil on panel, 126 x 84 cm.
This and five other panels at the Prado Museum (P06897, P06899, P06900, P06901, P06902), are some of the finest examples of the collaboration between Rodrigo and Francisco de Osona. They were probably designed as part of an altarpiece. The placement and physiognomy of the figures are in keeping with the style of this family of painters from Valencia. The diverse treatment of the paintings suggests the participation of some other member of their large workshop, beyond Rodrigo and his son, Francisco. Those stylistic changes are especially visible in the lower part of Jesus tunic in The Taking of Jesus (P06902), which is simpler and more hurried. The expressive intensity of the figures is characteristic of work by the Osonas, whose works were strongly dramatic in content. This is largely due to the architectural setting: large Renaissance buildings that announce the modernity of their paintings. This series of works also reveals some of the Northern sources drawn upon by these painters from Valencia, specifically, German prints by Schongauer, one of whose compositions is almost literally followed in Christ before Pontius Pilate (P06897).