Colnaghi Collections_Vol 01 - Catalog - Page 48
Fig. 3.1, Luis de
Morales, Ecce Homo,
ca. 1560-1570, oil
on panel, 73 x 50.5
cm, Madrid, Museo
Nacional del Prado.
Although Morales probably trained in Seville, he originally came
hand. Examples survive in the Hispanic Society of America, New
from Badajoz and remained associated with the town throughout
York, the Museu da Arte Antiga, Lisbon, the Museo del Prado
his career. In Badajoz, Morales met one of his most prominent and
(fig. 3.1) and the Academia de San Fernando, Madrid. The stylistic
important patrons, Juan de Ribera, who was appointed bishop of
consistency of Morales mature work makes his panels difficult to
the painter’s hometown in 1562. Ribera was the illegitimate son of
date with precision. However, a dating of 1565-1570 is plausible
the 1 Duke of Alcalá and one of the leading prelates of the Spanish
in relation to his association with Ribera, who recognized the artist’s
church after the Council of Trent. He was closely aligned with
unsurpassed skill in evoking emotions of passionate personal faith.
mystical writers like Saint John of Avila and Fray Luis de Granada,
who encouraged spiritual renewal through an emotional form of
We are grateful to Antonio Urquízar Herrera whose research
personal devotion. Morales’s devotional panels were the perfect
forms the basis of this entry.
visual compliment to such texts and were aimed to arouse feelings of
tragedy and piety through the contemplation of Christ’s suffering,
which was so vividly depicted it could move viewers to tears.
The popularity of Morales’s intense interpretation of the Man of
Sorrows is apparent in the numerous variations on this theme by his
Antonio Palomino, Lives of the Eminent Spanish Painters and Sculptors, trans. Nina
Ayala Mallory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), p. 38
See Jonathan Brown, The Golden Age of Spanish Painting (New Haven and London:
Yale University Press, 1991), pp. 49-50.