Virgil Solis the Elder

Christ Crowned with Thorns, 1552
woodcut in black on cream wove paper
4.75 x 3.25 in
SKU: 12705g
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This woodcut print, depicting 'Christ Crowned with Thorns,' is a rare image coming from a small passional. Passionals were a popular devotional text for the layperson describing the suffering of saints and martyrs, the Passion of Christ, and readings for holidays and feast days. For this early printed text, Solis made forty woodcut illustrations after the compositions from Albrecht Dürer's 'Small Passion' series. The passional for which these prints were made was presumably influenced by the vast cultural and religious changes surrounding the Protestant reformation, especially the work of Martin Luther. 'Christ Crowned with Thorns' is an important moment in the Passion narrative appearing in the gospels. It describes the moment when Christ is tortured and mocked by Roman soldiers, and the crown itself is only one of the 'instruments of the passion.' In the print, Christ is seated while two Roman soldiers beat him with whips and lances. One soldier kneels before Christ, mocking his authority. As it says in the twenty-seventh chapter of Matthew: "And when they had plaited a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee and mocked him, saying Hail, King of the Jews!" woodcut in black on cream wove paper from a small passional copy in reverse after Albrecht Dürer printed by Valentin Geissler in Nuremberg after 1552 4.75 x 3.25 inches, sheet 14.63 x 13 inches, frame monogram VS in the block, lower left collector's stamp of Antoine Vivenel (French, 1799–1862) in red ink, lower left (Lugt L.190) overall good and stable condition; some signs of discoloration and old restoration; restored losses upper right and left corners; restored tear lower right corner; margins cut to image; mounted to lining paper presented in a gold leaf moulding, mounted on cream matboard and protected behind glass; framed to conservation standards using archival materials Ref: Bartsch / Le Peintre graveur (IX.319.4.6)