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Head of Christ Crowned with Thorns

A work made of woodcut in black on cream laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of woodcut in black on cream laid paper.


c. 1535


Sebald Beham
German, 1500-1550

About this artwork

Domestic decoration made religious imagery ubiquitous and prints even functioned as private shrines. For those requiring a wall-mounted image to focus their devotions, Sebald Beham’s magnificent, over-life-size Head of Christ woodcut after Dürer’s 1513 Sudarium engraving presents a dramatic close-up view of the imprint of the Holy Face. Its grand scale may be inspired by a fifteenth-century continuously repeating Sudarium wallpaper. Off-printing of the same image on the verso of this impression—a product of stacking and pressing multiple impressions in the workshop before they fully dried—is an unintentional reminder of printmaking’s symbolic function in the Sudarium story.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Hans Sebald Beham


Head of Christ Crowned with Thorns




Artist's working dates 1520–1550


Woodcut in black on cream laid paper


427 × 322 mm (block); 493 × 322 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Potter Palmer

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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