About This Artwork

North Netherlandish

Christ Presented to the People, 1475/85

Oil on panel
51.9 x 34.8 cm (20 7/16 x 13 11/16 in.)
Painted surface: 50.6 x 33.6 cm (19 7/8 x 13 1/4 in.)
Inscribed: Ecce homo (in doorway)

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1933.1049

This is a rare example of a surviving 15th-century painting from the northern provinces of the Netherlands (present-day Holland). This region had fewer centers of artistic production than the more populous southern Netherlands, and it also experienced substantial destruction of artworks during the iconoclastic outbursts of the mid-16th century. The few surviving panel paintings, as well as illuminated manuscripts, from this region are often characterized by an earthy realism. Here the artist was equally interested in the hostile reactions of the crowd as he was in giving poignancy to the figure of Christ, whom the Roman governor Pontius Pilate presents to the people for judgment.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

New York, Corona Mundi International Art Center (Roerich Museum), Exhibition of Old Masters, 1927, no. 11, as the Master of the Virgo inter Virgines.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, 1933, no. 49, as the Master of the Virgo inter Virgines.

Art Institute of Chicago, A Century of Progress, 1934, no. 124, as the Master of the Virgo inter Virgines.

Publication History

Max J. Friedländer, Die altniederländische Malerei,, vol. 5, Berlin, 1927, pp. 72–74, 140, no. 53, pl. 35; rev. English ed., Early Netherlandish Painting, Brussels and Leiden,1969, pp. 41–43, 80, no. 53, pl. 35.

Frank Jewett Mather, Jr., “Roerich Museum to Sell Many Old Masters,” Art News 28, 20 (1930), pp. 4, 27 (ill.).

Nicholas Roerich Museum, Roerich Museum: A Decade of Activity, 1921–1931, New York, 1931, p. 56.

Daniel Catton Rich, “An Important Dutch Primitive,” Bulletin of the Art Institute of Chicago 25 (1931), pp. 34–36, (cover ill.).

The Art Institute of Chicago, A Guide to the Paintings in the Permanent Collection, 1932, p. 181, no. 376.30.

Daniel Catton Rich, “Die Ausstellung ‘Fünf Jahrhunderte der Frühmalerei in Chicago,’” Pantheon 6 (1933), p. 376.

F[riedrich] Winkler, “Meister der Virgo inter Virgines,” in Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, vol. 37, Leipzig, 1950, p. 346.

J. Leeuwenberg, “Een werk van den Virgomeester en zijn copieën,” Oud Holland 65 (1950), p. 118.

Hanns Swarzenski, “An Unknown Bosch,” Bulletin of the Museum of Fine Arts 53 (1955), p. 7.

Erwin Panofsky, “Jean Hey’s ‘Ecce Homo’: Speculations about Its Author, Its Donor, and Its Iconography,” Bulletin des Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique 5
(1956), p. 108.

The Art Institute of Chicago, Paintings in The Art Institute of Chicago: A Catalogue of the Picture Collection, 1961, p. 303.

K. G. Boon, “Een Utrechtse schilder uit de 15de eeuw, de Meester van de Boom van Jesse in de Buurkerk,” Oud Holland 76 (1961), p. 52 n. 5.

Colin T. Eisler, New England Museums, Corpus de la peinture des anciens Pays-Bas méridionaux au quinzième siècle 4, Brussels, 1961, p. 38, under no. 66.

K. G. Boon, “De Meester van de Virgo inter Virgines,” Oud Delft 2 (1963), pp. 14, 22, 30, 34, fig. 6.

Karl Arndt, review of Eisler 1961, in Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 27 (1964), p. 175.

Walter S. Gibson, “Hieronymus Bosch and the Dutch Tradition,” in Album Amicorum
J. G. van Gelder, The Hague, 1973, pp. 129–30, fig. 6.

Arts Council of Great Britain, Treasures from the Burrell Collection, exh. cat., London, Hayward Gallery, 1975, p. 13, under no. 4.

Robert C. Williams, Russian Art and American Money, 1900–1940, Cambridge, Mass., and London, 1980, p. 133.

Albert Châtelet, Early Dutch Painting: Painting in the Northern Netherlands in the Fifteenth Century, New York, 1981, pp. 143, 230, no. 117, fig. 221.

Daniela Hammer-Tugendhat, Hieronymus Bosch: Eine historische
Interpretation seiner Gestaltungsprinzipien, Munich, 1981, pp.
67–68, 107, 153, 163, 182.

Peter Sutton, A Guide to Dutch Art in America, Washington, D.C., and Grand Rapids, Mich., 1986, p. 65.

Marc Rudolf de Vrij, De Meester van de Virgo inter Virgines, Amsterdam, 1999, pp. 11,
23, 41, 43–44.

Claudia Unger, “Die Tafelgemälde des Meisters der Virgo inter Virgines: Ein Beitrag zur Erforschung des Kunstgebietes der nördlichen Niederlande im 15. Jahrhundert,” Ph.D. diss., Freie Universität, Berlin, 2004, pp. 248–54, 269.

Martha Wolff in Martha Wolff et al., Northern European and Spanish Paintings before 1600 in the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 2008, pp. 277-81, ill.

Ownership History

Italian art market. Count Contini, Rome, by 1923 [Friedländer 1927]. Roerich Museum, New York, by 1927; sold, American Art Association, Anderson Galleries, New York, Mar. 27–28, 1930, no. 64, to Ryerson for $7,000 [exhibited at the Roerich Museum in 1927; Robert Harshe, director of the Art Institute, acted as Ryerson’s agent at the Roerich sale; letter from Harshe to Ryerson, Apr. 1, 1930, Art Institute Archives].; Martin A. Ryerson (d. 1932), Chicago; on loan to the Art Institute from 1930; bequeathed to the Art Institute, 1933.




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