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The Crowning of Christ with Thorns: M.9-1938

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 32 (Rothschild)


The Crowning of Christ with Thorns


Maker: workshop of Nardon Penicaud
Maker: Penicaud, Nardon (Possibly)
Maker: Pénicaud, Jean I (Possibly)




Copper, decorated with polychrome enamels, jewelling over foils, and gilding. Christ, enthroned and crowned with thorns, is mocked by four tormenters. Above the architectural background a pair of putti hold up a shield bearing the initials IHS

Rectangular almost flat copper plaque, painted in black over a white enamel ground, and covered with translucent blue, turquoise, green, mulberry, and tan enamels, and opaque red, white, and black enamels, jewelling over foils, and gilding. Christ is seated on a tan-coloured throne in the centre. He holds a sceptre in his right hand which is crossed over his left on his lap, and wears a dark mulberry gown, and a green crown of thorns from which scarlet blood trickles down his forehead and neck. He is flanked by two men who are pushing the crown down on his head with rods, and another stands behind him bowing his head, and pressing the crown down with his hands. The man on the right has a blue hose, a turquoise tunic, and a blue cap with a jewelled border. The one on the left has green hose, a grey cap, and a brown armour with three jewelled medallions on the elbows and breastplate, and a blue mail shirt, visible below his waist. The one above has a blue hat and a green tunic with two jewelled buttons or brooches. In the left forground another man kneels, having doffed his hat in mocking subserviance, and rests his right hand on Christ's right arm. He has green hose, a blue tunic with a red jewel on its back, and a turquoise hat with a jewelled edge. In the foreground there is a green tiled floor with a red spot and four white dots in each lozenge-shaped tile. Behind the figures there is a black drape scatered with gold circles with a curved band of jewelling at the top, dividing them from the architectural setting of two jewelled arches rising from a central capital. In the spandrel of the arch there is a green mask below a blue shield inscribed IHS in gold, held up by two putti who lie horizontally above the arches. Remnants of lavish gilding are visible on the throne, costumes, and arches. The gilt-metal frame has eighteen rosette-headed rivets at intervals, and is set into a display frame covered in worn red velvet. Its back is covered in red damask and has a hinged damask-covered prop in the middle.


History note: Sir Francis Cook Bart. (1817-1901); Humphrey Wyndham Cook; sold Christie’s, 7-10 July 1925, Catalogue of an important collection of objects of art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the property of Humphrey W. Cook, Esq., and removed from 8 Cadogan Square, S.W., being a portion of the cel­ebrated collection formed by the late Sir Francis Cook, Bart., day 1, second part of lot 205 (with M.8-1938)

Legal notes

L.D. Cunliffe Bequest, 1937

Place(s) associated

  • Limoges ⪼ Haute Vienne ⪼ France

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1937) by Cunliffe, Leonard Daneham


16th Century, Early#
Circa 1520 CE - 1530 CE


The composition of this Flagellation is almost similar to the right wing of a triptych in the Museo Sacro in the Vatican which lacks the shield bearing the sacred trigram at the top, and has instead one angel with outstretched wings in the spandrel instead of two flying above. The iconography was probably derived from a German engraving or woodcut of the late 15th century. The Christ and kneeling figure on the left, and the shaped edge of the dais are reminiscent of the Crowning with Thorns in a series of twelve illustrating the Passion of Christ by Martin Schongauer (c.1440/53-91), but the other figures and the architectural setting are completely different.

School or Style


People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( translucent blue, turquoise, green, mulberry, and tan enamels, and opaque red, white, and black enamels) gold
Plaque composed of copper
Inner Frame Height 30.7 cm Width 14.2 cm
Outer Frame Height 34 cm Width 17.5 cm

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: IHS
  • Location: On front on shield
  • Method of creation: Painted in gold
  • Type: Inscription

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.9-1938
Primary reference Number: 139849
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 10 December 2020 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "The Crowning of Christ with Thorns" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-07 00:12:47

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