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The Dramatic Image: Baroque Prints of the 17th Century

Claude Mellan
French, 1598–1688

The Man of Sorrows

Engraving, 1659
Purchased with Funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1990.75

In this large engraving, Jesus, after being crowned with thorns, is lead away by soldiers to be crucified as angels use sponges to collect his spilled blood. Claude Mellan has used very expressive and masterly carved parallel lines to delineate the figures of Jesus, soldiers, and angels. The engraved lines curve around the legs, arms, and torso of the figures, creating a sense of three-dimensional volume. At times the circular patterns have an almost surreal quality, particularly as seen in the helmet of the soldier on the right.