Flagellation (1504) by Albrecht Durer

Flagellation - Albrecht Durer - 1504

Artwork Information

ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationAlbertina, Vienna, Austria

About Flagellation

“Flagellation” is a religious painting created by the artist Albrecht Dürer in 1504, during the Northern Renaissance. This artwork is part of “The Green Passion” series and is currently located at the Albertina in Vienna, Austria. The piece is known for reflecting the intricate style and religious fervor characteristic of Northern Renaissance art.

The image shows a detailed scene with multiple figures set in an interior space that appears to be a grand hall or a portion of a temple, indicated by the classical columns and arches. At the center, there is the figure of Christ, partially clad, being whipped by two men. Christ is bound to a column, His gaze is directed slightly upwards, wearing a crown of thorns, and He shows a passive and stoic expression in the face of His suffering.

To the left, one of the men holds a whip and strikes Christ, while his musculature and movement suggest a powerful and cruel action. To the right, another man is also wielding a whip and is depicted in mid-motion, contributing to the dynamic tension of the scene.

In the foreground, to the right, there’s a seated figure, possibly a depiction of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who, according to the Christian Gospels, presided over the trial of Jesus and ordered His crucifixion. He’s accompanied by another standing figure, possibly a soldier or guard overseeing the punishment.

Architectural details such as the masonry, capitals of the columns, and the arches are rendered with careful attention, conveying both the solidity of the structure and the grim context of the event. The background through the arches reveals a landscape view, adding depth to the composition.

The scene is imbued with a significant amount of emotion, intensity, and realism, which is typical of Dürer’s work and reminiscent of the Northern Renaissance’s focus on detail and naturalism, even in a religious context. The meticulous lines and shading techniques give the figures a three-dimensional form and contribute to the overall dramatic effect of the artwork.

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