Paintings of the Man of Sorrows by Titian and his studio
Fig. 19 / Titian, Man of
Sorrows, ca. 1560, oil on
canvas, 77 x 67 cm, X-ray
of Christ Carrying the Cross,
Madrid, Museo Nacional
del Prado.
Fig. 20 / Unidentified
painter, after Titian?, Man
of Sorrows, original ca.
1560?, oil on canvas, 78 x
56 cm, Madrid, Palacio Real,
reserves (formerly Escorial).
Fig. 21 / Titian, Man of
Sorrows, ca. 1562, oil on
canvas, 72 x 55 cm, Dublin,
The National Gallery of
The painting does not seem to be a later copy of an
earlier model, although in the placing and angling
of the cane it reprises the “Eleonora type”, but more
clearly than in that, Christ holds the cane between
the first and second fingers of His left hand. Certain
parts of the picture seem rather dull and it may not be
entirely autograph; but the enlivening of the drapery
folds with small brushstrokes, and the edge with a line
of gold, relate it to the Escorial Man of Sorrows. The
Kunsthistorisches Museum painting is noteworthy in that
the space left at either side of Christ invites the entry
of other figures and, in fact, His pose was reused, little
changed, in the Prado version of the Ecce Homo.49
Two pieces of evidence suggest that Titian further
exploited this arrangement. One is the X-ray of the
Prado Christ Carrying the Cross, a painting universally
dated to the mid-1560s, which reveals a Man of
Sorrows beneath the present surface (fig. 19).50 The
other is a Man of Sorrows once in the Escorial but now
held in the reserves of the Palacio Real in Madrid
Paintings of the Man of Sorrows by Titian and his studio
(fig. 20), currently attributed to an unidentified
Spanish seventeenth-century painter.51 The two
representations, which are similar but not identical,
show Christ posed as in the Kunsthistorisches
Museum painting, although His forms are a little
Two other paintings of the Man of Sorrows are well
known and often exhibited. There should be no
doubts about the fully autograph nature of either.
They are a little narrower than the other versions and
Christ dominates the field more emphatically. In both
paintings, the cane rises from lower right to upper
left, following the “Philipian type” if at a slightly
steeper angle, about forty-five degrees, crossing His
right shoulder. But they differ in other respects. In
the canvas in Dublin (fig. 21), Christ is placed more
frontally than before although His head is turned
to the viewer’s left and His drapery is cast over the
opposite shoulder: in short, His pose is reversed, for
the only time, it seems, in Titian’s oeuvre.52


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