Man of Sorrows

Hello everyone! This week I wanted to talk about another artist that I have looked into. His name is Guido Reni, and he was an Italian Baroque artist. He was a studious individual, studying at the Bolognese School and later the Accademia degli Incamminati (Academy of the Moving Forward or Journeying). The only reason he left the school was because he was receiving an indecent amount of money for commissions. Afterwards, he started making artworks for the Pope. Reni is also well-known for his mythological and religious paintings. Additionally, Reni was highly-influenced by the works of Carracci, the frescoes of Raphael, and ancient Greek sculptures.

Some of the paintings that I wanted to focus on from Reni are his Ecce Homos and his Man of Sorrows. Last year, I did a post on Ecce Homo Prints, but I also wanted to go over some paintings done on this matter because Reni depicts them lavishly and excellently expresses emotion within the works.

In the other post, I talked about how this particular theme comes from a biblical story where Christ is presented to a crowd by Pontius Pilate with thorns on his head. This is the moment that Christ is being chosen to be crucified rather than Barabbas. This was a moment that represents humiliation, shame, and pain.

The first work I found is Head of Christ Crowned with Thorns created in 1620.


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The next work I found is called Ecce Homo created around 1639 and 1640.


Next is Ecce Homo created in 1639.


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Another piece is called Man of Sorrows created around 1630 and 1700.


Rather than commenting on each picture, I wanted to comment on them as a group. Looking at these works, I think Reni does an amazing job with expressing the complexity human emotion. Each of these show extensive detail in the face, eyes, and body, being controlled by emotion. Just like we experience pain, Christ experienced human pain as well. Of course, his pain was more brutal and intense because it was part of the Passion, but you can still feel the agony and pain that is expressed in these works.


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