Miguel Jeronimo, asc. ZendejasMexico ca. 1723/24-1815
Christ Crowned with Thorns 92.0025
According to Matthew 27:26ff and Mark 15:16ff, Pontias Pilate's Roman soldiers, after having scourged Jesus, wove a crown of thorns and set it on his head, dressing him in a royal robe. This vignette of the Man of Sorrows suffering for the iniquities of mankind which was also described in Isaiah 53 quickly became a central Eucharistic theme. In the Mass the broken body of Christ is offered up as a sacrifice in expiation of the sins of those attending. Zendejas has followed faithfully the gospel narrative of Matthew and Mark rather than the earlier imagery used in Isaiah, as there is no reed scepter, frequently represented by other artists. The painting bears a signature apparently original to the work and a date of 1730, when Miguel was only six or seven years old. The most likely explanation for this discrepancy is that the signature/date are abraded, or worn away, as there is no evidence that the artist's father was a painter and there are no other Pueblan artists with this name. Zendejas was the son of a printer/printseller in Puebla, where he produced many works. His best works such as this painting combine the psychological force and directness of folk art with the mastery of expression found in European painting traditions.
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