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Title: Christ Shown to the People (Ecce Homo)
Date: c.1570–76
Artist: Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)
Italian, c.1485-90–1576
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions:
43 x 37 5/16 in. (109.2 x 94.8 cm)
framed: 57 1/4 x 51 1/2 x 2 3/4 in. (145.4 x 130.8 x 7 cm)
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object Number: 10:1936
Place made: Venice, Veneto, Italy
Current Location: On View, Gallery 236
Notes:
By the glow of blazing torchlight, Pontius Pilate, the Roman ruler of Judea, presents Christ to an unseen crowd who will decide his fate. Pilate’s extravagant fur-lined cloak and the page’s opulent jewelry contrast with the nearly naked Christ. The distinction between simplicity and splendor underscores the poignancy of the humiliation Christ endured. Evidenced by the sketchy application of paint in the upper left, the work was left unfinished at Titian’s death. During his long life, Titian had become one of the most celebrated artists of his day, recognized and sought after by popes and secular rulers. Qualities such as the assured, powerful brushwork, sensitive modeling, subdued palette, and emotional depth characterize Titian’s late style.
Signed: unsigned
Provenance
by 1566 -
Guidobaldo II della Rovere (1514-1574), Duke of Urbino, Urbino and Pesaro, Italy; Francesco Maria II della Rovere (1549-1631), Duke of Urbino, Urbania, Italy, by inheritance; Vittoria della Rovere (1622-1694/5), Italy, by inheritance; delle Rovere family, by inheritance [1]

1644 -
Paolo Coccapani, Bishop of Reggio, Reggio Emilia, Italy [2]

Henry Alexander Gordon Howard (1866-1927), 4th Earl of Effingham, Effingham, England [3]

- 1935
Rudolf Heinemann and Adolph Loewi, London, England, and Venice, Italy (owned jointly) [4]

1935
Robert Frank, London, England [5]

- 1936
Arnold Seligmann, Rey & Co., New York, NY, USA [6]

1936 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Arnold Seligmann, Rey & Co. [7]


Notes:
The main sources for this provenance are the Titian catalogue by Harold Wethey and the 1993 exhibition catalogue for "La Siècle de Titian" [Wethey, Harold E. "The Paintings of Titian." London: Phaidon, 1969-1975, cat. no. 28; "Le siècle de Titien: l'âge d'or de la peinture à Venise: Grand Palais 9 mars-14 juin 1993." Paris: Réunion des musées nationaux, 1993, cat. no. 261]. Exceptions and other supporting documents are noted.

[1] This painting has been cited as having been in the Duke of Urbino's ownership at one time. According to a 1967 exhibition catalogue, this "may be the picture mentioned in a letter of January 26, 1566, in which the art agent Agatone wrote to the Duke of Urbino to report that Titian had assured him that the Ecce Homo that the Duke had ordered had been finished by the master's own hand" ["The Italian Heritage: An Exhibition of Works of Art Lent from American Collections for the Benefit of the Committee to Rescue Italian Art." Providence, RI: The Committee to Rescue Italian Art, 1967, cat. no. 22]. However, upon further investigation, the letter of 1566 only mentions that a "Christ" picture was finished by Titian's hand. Based on several della Rovere inventories that describe a similar type of painting, scholars including Giorgio Gronau, Grazia Bernini Pezzini, and Federico Pedrocco have identified the unspecified "Christ" painting as an "Ecce Homo" [Gronau, Giorgio. "Documenti artistici urbinati." Firenze: G. C. Sansoni, 1936, pgs. 61-61, 66, 103; Dante Bernini, Grazia Bernini Pezzini, and Zampetti, Pietro. "Tiziano per i Duchi di Urbino." Urbino: Palazzo Ducale, 1976, p. 63; Pedrocco, Federico. "Titian: The Complete Paintings." London: Thames and Hudson, p. 244, 296]. Unfortunately, there are few indications that the painting described in the inventories refers to the one in the Museum's collection. In fact, Pedrocco even claims that the "Ecce Homo" painted for the Duke is of a different type and is now lost. Although it seems that the painting may not have been owned by the Duke of Urbino, the notion that the inventories refer to the Museum's painting cannot be wholly disproved at this time. In addition, this picture had previously been dated to around 1565 but has more recently been assigned the later date of c.1570-75. This later dating makes the identification of this picture with the one mentioned in the 1566 letter less likely. It is possible, however, that the painting was begun as early as 1566.

[2] August L. Mayer first suggested that this picture was the same one acquired by the painter and art dealer, Gabriele Balestrieri in 1644 for Coccapani, Bishop of Reggio, citing Campori's Raccolta de Cataloghi [Mayer, August L. "A propos d'un nouveau livre sur le Titien." "Gazette des Beaux-Arts" 18 (1937): 307]. In a letter dated January 9, 1644, Balestrieri states that he purchased the picture in Venice for the bishop's collection. The painting is described as partly finished, partly sketched and by Titian's hand [Campori, Giuseppe. "Raccolta di cataloghi ed inventarii inediti: di quadri, statue, disegni, bronzi, dorerie, smalti, medaglie, avori, ecc. dal secolo XV al secolo XIX." Bologna: A. Forni, 1975 (Reprint of 1870 ed.), p. 144].

[3] According to letters dated February 20, 1936 and March 2, 1936, Paul M. Byk of Arnold Seligmann, Rey & Co. states that his agent in England telegrammed that the "last owner" of the picture was Henry A. Gordon, 4th Earl of Effingham. In a letter dated February 22, 1936, scholar Lionello Venturi wrote that the picture was "for more than a century in an English collection, from which it was recently privately bought" [SLAM document files].

[4] According to Kay Robertson, daughter of Adolph Loewi, Loewi had joint ownership of the painting with Rudolf Heinemann, who was his partner and worked closely with him. Heinemann had been an advisor to the Thyssen Museum in Lugano, Switzerland where he lived and worked. Mrs. Robertson said he had a gallery in New York as well [notes of telephone conversation between Kay Robertson and Museum researcher Beth Hinrichs, August 2002, SLAM document files]. According to the National Gallery of Art's website, Heinemann left Europe in 1935 and became an American citizen in 1941 ["Rudolph J. Heinemann," The National Gallery of Art, accessed February 18, 2004 ].

Mrs. Robertson recalled this picture as being in the 1935 Titian exhibition in Venice. It is indeed listed in the catalog for this exhibition as being lent by Heinemann and Loewi ["Mostra di Tiziano: Catalogo delle opera." Venice: Officine grafiche C. Ferrari, 1935]. Since the Earl of Effingham was listed as the "last owner" (see note [3]), it is possible that Loewi and Heinemann acquired the work directly from the Earl of Effingham's collection.

[5] In a 1935 article August Mayer lists the painting as being in the collection of Messrs. Frank, Ltd. [Mayer, August L. "An Unknown 'Ecce Homo' by Titian." "The Burlington Magazine" 67 no. 389 (August 1935): 53].

[6] Paul Byk from Arnold Seligmann, Rey & Co., Adoph Loewi, and Rudolf Heinemann all worked closely together. In a letter dated February 15, 1936, Paul Byk refers to Rudolf Heinemann as "my partner" [SLAM document files].

[7] Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, March 5, 1936.
Exhibition History
Title: Venice in St. Louis
Date: May 30 - July 2, 1972
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Forty Masterpieces from the Collections of the City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Date: October 1947
Venue: City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Title: Titian
Date: June 9, 2003 - September 23, 2003
Venue: Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain
Venue: National Gallery, London
Title: The Italian Heritage: an exhibition of works of art lent from American collections for the benefit of the Committee to Rescue It
Date: May 17 - August 29, 1967
Venue: Wildenstein & Co., Inc.
Title: Masterpieces of Art from European and American Collections: Twenty-Second Loan Exhibition of Old Masters
Date: April 1 - May 31, 1941
Venue: The Detroit Institute of Arts
Title: Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese
Date: 1936
Venue: Arnold Seligmann, Rey & Co., Inc.
Title: Fifty Masterworks from the City Art Museum of St. Louis
Date: November 6 - December 13, 1958
Venue: Wildenstein & Co., Inc.
Title: Le Siècle de Titien: L'âge d'or de la peinture à Venise
Date: March 9 – June 14, 1993
Venue: Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais
Title: Notable Paintings from Midwestern Collections
Date: November 30, 1956 – January 2, 1957
Venue: Joslyn Art Museum
Title: Der späte Tizian und die Sinnlichkeit der Malerei
Date: October 17, 2007 – May 4, 2008
Venue: Gallerie dell'Accademia
Venue: Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria
Publication History
Title: Venezianische Gemälde des 15. und 16. Jahrhunderts: vollständiger Katalog
Author: Rolf von Kultzen
Title: Raccolta di cataloghi ed inventarii inediti
Author: Giuseppe Campori
Title: The St. Louis Art Museum: Handbook of the Collections
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Fifty Masterworks from the City Art Museum of St. Louis
Year Published: 1958
Title: Tiziano
Year Published: 1969
Title: Metamorphoses of the Grimani 'Vitellus'
Periodical Title: The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal
Author: Stephen Bailey
Title: Tizian: Sein Leben und Sein Werk
Year Published: 1936
Title: Titian's Workshop in his Late Years
Periodical Title: The Art Bulletin
Author: E. Tietze-Conrat
Title: Titian: The Paintings and Drawings
Author: Hans Tietze
Title: Titian: The Complete Paintings
Author: Peter Humfrey
Title: Mostra di Tiziano: Catalogo delle opera
Year Published: 1935
Title: Saint Louis Art Museum: Handbook of the Collection
Editor: Mary Ann Steiner
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: The Italian Heritage: An exhibition of works of art lent from American collections for the benefit of the Committee to Rescue Italian Art
Year Published: 1967
Title: An Unknown 'Ecce Homo' by Titian
Periodical Title: Burlington Magazine
Edition: August
Year Published: 1935
Title: A propos d'un nouveau livre sur le Titien
Periodical Title: Gazette des Beaux-Arts
Author: August L. Mayer
Title: The Saint Louis Art Museum Handbook of the Collections
Editor: Mary Ann Steiner
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Handbook of the Collections: The City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: De Tiziano a Bassano: maestros Venecianos del Museo del Prado
Year Published: 1997
Title: Tiziano
Year Published: 2003
Title: A Late Masterpiece by Titian
Periodical Title: Bulletin of the City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Author: Meyric R. Rogers
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: From Heaven to Arcadia
Periodical Title: The New York Review
Author: Ingrid Rowland
Title: Critic's Notebook: London is Agog Over Art, Especially Saatchi's
Periodical Title: The New York Times
Author: Michael Kimmelman
Title: Display of Venetian Masters Leads Latest Art Exhibits on View
Periodical Title: New York American
Edition: January 11
Year Published: 1936
Title: The spirit of St. Louis
Periodical Title: Art News
Edition: November
Year Published: 1958
Title: Sublime and Beauteous Shapes
Periodical Title: Apollo
Author: Mahonri Sharp Young
Title: Der Späte Tizian und die Sinnlichkeit der Malerei
Author: Sylvia Ferino-Pagden
Publisher: Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria
Title: L'opera completa di Tiziano
Author: Francesco Valcanover
Title: Late Titian and the sensuality of painting
Editor: Sylvia Ferino-Pagden
Title: Reviews: "Titian"
Periodical Title: Renaissance Quarterly
Edition: Fall
Year Published: 2004
Title: L'ultimo Tiziano e la sensualità della pittura
Editor: Sylvia Ferino-Pagden
Title: All the Paintings of Titian: Part 4 (1546-1576)
Author: Francesco Valcanover
Title: Rivendicazioni a Tiziano
Periodical Title: Vita artistica
Author: Wilhelm Suida
Title: Tizian
Author: Wilhelm Suida
Title: Italian Paintings and Sculpture
Periodical Title: The Saint Louis Art Museum Bulletin
Author: Nora Wiseman Desloge
Author: Laura Meyer
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: A Century of Venetian Art Presented in Fine Display
Periodical Title: Art News
Author: Alfred M. Frankfurter
Title: The Paintings of Titian: The Religious Paintings
Author: Harold Edwin Wethey
Title: Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections
Year Published: 1972
Title: Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Venetian School
Author: Bernard Berenson
Title: Forty Masterpieces from the Collections of the City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Periodical Title: Bulletin of the City Art Museum of Saint Louis
Author: Perry T. Rathbone
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Christ Mocked, a late "invenzione" by Titian
Periodical Title: Artibus et historiae
Author: Miguel Falomir
Title: Exhibition Review: Titian
Periodical Title: Burlington Magazine
Author: Peter Humfrey
Title: Titian Exhibition at Venice
Periodical Title: Pantheon
Author: Wilhelm Suida
Title: Great Venetians
Periodical Title: Art News Annual
Year Published: 1938
Title: L'Opera completa di Tiziano
Author: Francesco Valcanover
Title: Venice in St. Louis
Author: Nancy Ward Neilson
Title: Titian
Periodical Title: Encyclopedia of World Art
Author: Antonio Morassi
Title: Tiziano
Author: Filippo Pedrocco
Title: Masterpieces of Art from European and American Collections: Twenty-Second Loan Exhibition of Old Masters
Publisher: The Detroit Institute of Arts
Title: Notable Paintings from Midwestern Collections: The first of three exhibitions for the twenty-fifth anniversary
Year Published: 1956
Title: Titian
Editor: David Jaffé
Author: Amanda Bradley
Title: Tizian-Ausstellung in Vendig
Periodical Title: Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte
Author: L. Dussler
Author: Wilhelm Suida
Title: La Mostra di Tiziano a Venezia
Periodical Title: Bollettino d'arte
Author: Luigi Serra
Title: Le Siècle De Titien
Editor: Gilles Fage
Title: Tiziano in el Museo del Prado
Author: P. Beroqui
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