Titian’s Ecce Homo on Slate: Stone, Oil, and the Transubstantiation of Painting

Citation data:

The Art Bulletin, ISSN: 0004-3079, Vol: 99, Issue: 1, Page: 36-66

Publication Year:
2017
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Repository URL:
http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/31430
DOI:
10.1080/00043079.2017.1265285
Pitt D-Scholarship Id:
31430
Author(s):
Christopher J. Nygren
Publisher(s):
Informa UK Limited
Tags:
Arts and Humanities
article description
Titian's Ecce Homo (Museo del Prado, Madrid) stands out for many reasons. First, the painting was a gift, so it reflects Titian's volition rather than the will of a patron. Second, the material that Titian elected to use demands attention: Ecce Homo is painted on slate. It is the only painting that Titian ever painted on slate, yet modern scholarship has largely ignored Titian's unique artistic material. The painter heightened the affective immediacy of Christian devotion by underlining the associations between the spiritual content of his image and the physical characteristics of its material substrate.