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Christ Crowned with Thorns Passion No 7 is one of a series of engravings by Nuremberg Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer. It features scenes from the Passion of Jesus Christ. As the name suggests, it's the seventh in a sequence of engravings.
By Christ's Passion, we mean his torture, crucifixion and death. These engravings are remarkable because they depict the Passion scenes as vividly as if they had been painted. It is quite difficult to believe that engravings could be so realistic and moving. Yet this was the incredible talent of the man considered to be the Leonardo Da Vinci of northern Europe. An artist who continually grew in his craft, he broke boundaries. He had the distinction of being one of the few Renaissance artists who could make a living from his craft without having to depend on wealthy patrons. The crowning with thorns is a moving scene where Christ's tormentors mock his supposed kingship, by placing a crown made of thorns upon his head.
Not only did this make Christ the subject of derision, but it also inflicted terrible pain upon a man, already weak from being flogged mercilessly. He then had to face the further torment of carrying his own cross to his place of execution. The torture inflicted psychological as well as physical pain. The artist brings the scenes to life in the series of engravings of which this engraving is one. He brings this scene alive for the people of his time by showing the characters in the picture as being dressed in the contemporary style of his time. Although the printing press had been invented, not everyone had the luxury of an education. Yet everyone can understand a picture. The artist's work would have been instrumental in educating many people of his time in the knowledge of the Christian message.
Albrecht Dürer created this engraving in 1512. A true Renaissance man, he got his work out in front of the eyes of the public. His work was made for all to see and was not just meant for the exclusive residences of the rich. Prints were made of this series of engravings and they were distributed and sold far and wide. This gave the artist one of a wide sphere of influence in his time. This precious work is now housed in the Metropolitan Art Museum of New York, where it is kept in trust for the whole world.