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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.

Date:

c. 1535

Artist:

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.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Hans Sebald Beham

Title

Head of Christ Crowned with Thorns

Origin

Germany

Date

Artist's working dates 1520–1550

Medium

Woodcut in black on cream laid paper

Dimensions

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

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Potter Palmer

Reference Number

1937.75

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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