About this artwork
In the 1950s, Marion Perkins was one of Chicago’s foremost sculptors. He participated in nearly one dozen invitational exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1942 to 1957 and received three awards of distinction. His career was capped by the museum’s 1951 purchase of one of his most extraordinary pieces, Man of Sorrows. This sculpture is indeed powerful, but its emotional intensity is not achieved through brute force of carving or any “primitivizing” influence. Rather, it succeeds through its brilliant balance of exaggeration and restraint. Its sheer physical presence is conveyed through the impressive bulk of the marble block—often scavenged from abandoned buildings. The head’s simplified, protruding eyes are shut tight; the pursed lips are both hidden and defined by a short stubby beard; the hair is veined with smoothly carved thorns. Christ’s contained expression of agony is arresting.
- Marion Perkins
- Man of Sorrows
- United States
- Inscription: signed and dated on back, chiseled into stone: "MP 50"
- 44.4 × 25.4 × 25.4 cm (17 1/2 × 10 × 10 in.)
- Pauline Palmer Prize Fund