Art in focus: April 2019
Three faces tell the story of a betrayal. Here is the moment when Pilate, the Roman governor, shows the scourged, bound and crowned Jesus to the people, with the words ‘Behold the man’. The painter has made no attempt to set the scene in period dress. Rather the three figures are plainly clothed, drawing all the attention to their faces. Look closely at the expressions the artist conveys. Pilate the Roman is on the left. There is an intensity and world weariness about him, but is there more? Jesus stands centrally, his face shows pain but also perhaps compassion.
The German artist Lovis Corinth painted this work in four days as an Easter meditation – one of the last paintings he made before his death in 1925. Most intriguing of all, the soldier figure on the right bears a close resemblance to Corinth himself. Why did he cast himself in the picture in this way? And what does his expression convey?
Art in focus is curated by Meryl Doney
This article was published in the May 2019 edition of Reform