The phrase "Ecce Homo", literally "Behold the Man", refers to the Gospel's episode narrated by John in which Jesus Christ was presented to the Jewish people. Antonio Ciseri addressed that sacred subject in the same way as a historical event.
This is a painting of considerable size, made in almost 20 years, from 1871 to 1891, and currently preserved in the Gallery of Modern Art of Pitti Palace. A real "mise-en-scène" with references to the great Italian drama of that time, solutions borrowed from photographic technique and allusions to Ernest Renan's literary work, The Life of Jesus.
Pontius Pilate presents Jesus from behind with a magniloquent gesture. Nobody shows their face, except for the wife of the Roman governor, caught in a moment of intimacy together with her servant. She almost seems to whisper her conviction that Christ is innocent.
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