Lucas van Leyden, Christ Presented to the People, a copperplate engraving

Holland, AD 1510

A scene from the New Testament

The story comes from John's Gospel (19:5). The Roman prefect Pontius Pilate shows Christ to the people of Jerusalem, who shout, 'Crucify him! ... because he has claimed to be the Son of God.'

The artist has used linear perspective to create an elaborate sequence of spaces between complex and imposing buildings. He describes the indifference and ignorance of the crowd with detached humour. These are qualities that would attract print collectors rather than satisfy the devotional needs of the pious. It seems that Lucas was working for a new art market that perhaps could not afford paintings but eagerly purchased his ambitious prints. In the following century Rembrandt, who also came from Leyden, assembled his own collection of prints by Lucas.

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More information

Bibliography

F.W.H. Hollstein, Dutch and Flemish etchings, en, vol. X (Amsterdam, 1949)

A. Griffiths (ed.), Landmarks in print collecting (London, The British Museum Press)

Dimensions

Height: 288.000 mm
Width: 452.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1868-8-22-603 (Bartsch 71; Hollstein 25)

PPA43710

Bequethed by Felix Slade

Location

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