Gothic art was a style of medieval art that developed in Northern France out of Romanesque art in the 12th century AD, led by the concurrent development of Gothic architecture. It spread to all of Western Europe, much of Southern and Central Europe, never quite effacing more classical styles in Italy. In the late 14th century, the sophisticated court style of International Gothic developed, which continued to evolve until the late 15th century. In many areas Germany, Late Gothic art continued well into the 16th century, before being subsumed into Renaissance art. Primary media in the Gothic period included sculpture, panel painting, stained glass and illuminated manuscripts; the recognizable shifts in architecture from Romanesque to Gothic, Gothic to Renaissance styles, are used to define the periods in art in all media, although in many ways figurative art developed at a different pace. The earliest Gothic art was monumental sculpture, on the walls of abbeys. Christian art was typological in nature, showing the stories of the New Testament and the Old Testament side by side.
Saints' lives were depicted. Images of the Virgin Mary changed from the Byzantine iconic form to a more human and affectionate mother, cuddling her infant, swaying from her hip, showing the refined manners of a well-born aristocratic courtly lady. Secular art came into its own during this period with the rise of cities, foundation of universities, increase in trade, the establishment of a money-based economy and the creation of a bourgeois class who could afford to patronize the arts and commission works resulting in a proliferation of paintings and illuminated manuscripts. Increased literacy and a growing body of secular vernacular literature encouraged the representation of secular themes in art. With the growth of cities, trade guilds were formed and artists were required to be members of a painters' guild—as a result, because of better record keeping, more artists are known to us by name in this period than any previous. Gothic art emerged in Île-de-France, France, in the early 12th century at the Abbey Church of St Denis built by Abbot Suger.
The style spread beyond its origins in architecture to sculpture, both monumental and personal in size, textile art, painting, which took a variety of forms, including fresco, stained glass, the illuminated manuscript, panel painting. Monastic orders the Cistercians and the Carthusians, were important builders who disseminated the style and developed distinctive variants of it across Europe. Regional variations of architecture remained important when, by the late 14th century, a coherent universal style known as International Gothic had evolved, which continued until the late 15th century, beyond in many areas. Although there was far more secular Gothic art than is thought today, as the survival rate of religious art has been better than for secular equivalents, a large proportion of the art produced in the period was religious, whether commissioned by the church or by the laity. Gothic art was typological in nature, reflecting a belief that the events of the Old Testament pre-figured those of the New, that this was indeed their main significance.
Old and New Testament scenes were shown side by side in works like the Speculum Humanae Salvationis, the decoration of churches. The Gothic period coincided with a great resurgence in Marian devotion, in which the visual arts played a major part. Images of the Virgin Mary developed from the Byzantine hieratic types, through the Coronation of the Virgin, to more human and intimate types, cycles of the Life of the Virgin were popular. Artists like Giotto, Fra Angelico and Pietro Lorenzetti in Italy, Early Netherlandish painting, brought realism and a more natural humanity to art. Western artists, their patrons, became much more confident in innovative iconography, much more originality is seen, although copied formulae were still used by most artists. Iconography was affected by changes in theology, with depictions of the Assumption of Mary gaining ground on the older Death of the Virgin, in devotional practices such as the Devotio Moderna, which produced new treatments of Christ in subjects such as the Man of Sorrows, Pensive Christ and Pietà, which emphasized his human suffering and vulnerability, in a parallel movement to that in depictions of the Virgin.
In Last Judgements Christ was now shown exposing his chest to show the wounds of his Passion. Saints were shown more and altarpieces showed saints relevant to the particular church or donor in attendance on a Crucifixion or enthroned Virgin and Child, or occupying the central space themselves. Over the period many ancient iconographical features that originated in New Testament apocrypha were eliminated under clerical pressure, like the midwives at the Nativity, though others were too well-established, considered harmless; the word "Gothic" for art was used as a synonym for "Barbaric", was therefore used pejoratively. Its critics saw this type of Medieval art as unrefined and too remote from the aesthetic proportions and shapes of Classical art. Renaissance authors believed that the Sack of Rome by the Gothic tribes in 410 had triggered the demise of the Classical world and all the values they held dear. In the 15th century, various Italian architects and writers complained that the new'barbarian' styles filtering down from north of the Alps posed a similar threat to the classical revival promoted by the early Renaissance.
The "Gothic" qualifier for this art was first used in Raphael's letter to Pope Leo X c. 1518
Oil painting is the process of painting with pigments with a medium of drying oil as the binder. Used drying oils include linseed oil, poppy seed oil, walnut oil, safflower oil; the choice of oil imparts a range of properties to the oil paint, such as the amount of yellowing or drying time. Certain differences, depending on the oil, are visible in the sheen of the paints. An artist might use several different oils in the same painting depending on specific pigments and effects desired; the paints themselves develop a particular consistency depending on the medium. The oil may be boiled with a resin, such as pine resin or frankincense, to create a varnish prized for its body and gloss. Although oil paint was first used for Buddhist paintings by painters in western Afghanistan sometime between the fifth and tenth centuries, it did not gain popularity until the 15th century, its practice may have migrated westward during the Middle Ages. Oil paint became the principal medium used for creating artworks as its advantages became known.
The transition began with Early Netherlandish painting in Northern Europe, by the height of the Renaissance oil painting techniques had completely replaced the use of tempera paints in the majority of Europe. In recent years, water miscible. Water-soluble paints are either engineered or an emulsifier has been added that allows them to be thinned with water rather than paint thinner, allows, when sufficiently diluted fast drying times when compared with traditional oils. Traditional oil painting techniques begin with the artist sketching the subject onto the canvas with charcoal or thinned paint. Oil paint is mixed with linseed oil, artist grade mineral spirits, or other solvents to make the paint thinner, faster or slower-drying. A basic rule of oil paint application is'fat over lean', meaning that each additional layer of paint should contain more oil than the layer below to allow proper drying. If each additional layer contains less oil, the final painting will peel; this rule does not ensure permanence.
There are many other media that can be used with the oil, including cold wax and varnishes. These additional media can aid the painter in adjusting the translucency of the paint, the sheen of the paint, the density or'body' of the paint, the ability of the paint to hold or conceal the brushstroke; these aspects of the paint are related to the expressive capacity of oil paint. Traditionally, paint was transferred to the painting surface using paintbrushes, but there are other methods, including using palette knives and rags. Oil paint remains wet longer than many other types of artists' materials, enabling the artist to change the color, texture or form of the figure. At times, the painter might remove an entire layer of paint and begin anew; this can be done with a rag and some turpentine for a time while the paint is wet, but after a while the hardened layer must be scraped. Oil paint dries by oxidation, not evaporation, is dry to the touch within a span of two weeks, it is dry enough to be varnished in six months to a year.
Although the history of tempera and related media in Europe indicates that oil painting was discovered there independently, there is evidence that oil painting was used earlier in Afghanistan. Outdoor surfaces and surfaces like shields—both those used in tournaments and those hung as decorations—were more durable when painted in oil-based media than when painted in the traditional tempera paints. Most Renaissance sources, in particular Vasari, credited northern European painters of the 15th century, Jan van Eyck in particular, with the "invention" of painting with oil media on wood panel supports. However, Theophilus gives instructions for oil-based painting in his treatise, On Various Arts, written in 1125. At this period, it was used for painting sculptures and wood fittings especially for outdoor use. However, early Netherlandish painting with artists like Van Eyck and Robert Campin in the 15th century were the first to make oil the usual painting medium, explore the use of layers and glazes, followed by the rest of Northern Europe, only Italy.
Early works were still panel paintings on wood, but around the end of the 15th century canvas became more popular as the support, as it was cheaper, easier to transport, allowed larger works, did not require complicated preliminary layers of gesso. Venice, where sail-canvas was available, was a leader in the move to canvas. Small cabinet paintings were made on metal copper plates; these supports were more expensive but firm, allowing intricately fine detail. Printing plates from printmaking were reused for this purpose; the popularity of oil spread through Italy from the North, starting in Venice in the late 15th century. By 1540, the previous method for painting on panel had become all but extinct, although Italians continued to use chalk-based fresco for wall paintings, less successful and durable in damper northern climates; the linseed oil itself comes from a common fiber crop. Linen, a "support" for oil painting comes from the flax plant. Safflower oil or the walnut or poppyseed oil are sometimes used in formulating lighter colors li
A crucifix is an image of Jesus on the cross, as distinct from a bare cross. The representation of Jesus himself on the cross is referred to in English as the corpus; the crucifix is a principal symbol for many groups of Christians, one of the most common forms of the Crucifixion in the arts. It is important in the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, but is used in the Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, as well as by the Lutheran and Anglican Churches; the symbol is less common in churches of other Protestant denominations, which prefer to use a cross without the figure of Jesus. The crucifix emphasizes Jesus' sacrifice — his death by crucifixion, which Christians believe brought about the redemption of mankind. Most crucifixes portray Jesus on a Latin cross, rather than any other shape, such as a Tau cross or a Coptic cross. Western crucifixes have a three-dimensional corpus, but in Eastern Orthodoxy Jesus' body is painted on the cross, or in low relief. Speaking, to be a crucifix, the cross must be three-dimensional, but this distinction is not always observed.
An entire painting of the Crucifixion of Jesus including a landscape background and other figures is not a crucifix either. Large crucifixes high across the central axis of a church are known by the Old English term rood. By the late Middle Ages these were a near-universal feature of Western churches, but are now rare. Modern Roman Catholic churches have a crucifix above the altar on the wall; the standard, four-pointed Latin crucifix consists of an upright post or stipes and a single crosspiece to which the sufferer's arms were nailed. There may be a short projecting nameplate, showing the letters INRI; the Russian Orthodox crucifix has an additional third crossbar, to which the feet are nailed, and, angled upward toward the penitent thief Saint Dismas and downward toward the impenitent thief Gestas. The corpus of Eastern crucifixes is a two-dimensional or low relief icon that shows Jesus as dead, his face peaceful and somber, they are three-dimensional figures as in the Western tradition, although these may be found where Western influences are strong, but are more icons painted on a piece of wood shaped to include the double-barred cross and the edge of Christ's hips and halo, no background.
More sculptural small crucifixes in metal relief are used in Orthodoxy, including as pectoral crosses and blessing crosses. Western crucifixes may show Christ dead or alive, the presence of the spear wound in his ribs traditionally indicating that he is dead. In either case his face often shows his suffering. In Orthodoxy he has been shown as dead since around the end of the period of Byzantine Iconoclasm. Eastern crucifixes have Jesus' two feet nailed side by side, rather than crossed one above the other, as Western crucifixes have shown them since around the 13th century; the crown of thorns is generally absent in Eastern crucifixes, since the emphasis is not on Christ's suffering, but on his triumph over sin and death. The "S"-shaped position of Jesus' body on the cross is a Byzantine innovation of the late 10th century, though found in the German Gero Cross of the same date. More from Byzantine influence, it spread elsewhere in the West to Italy, by the Romanesque period, though it was more usual in painting than sculpted crucifixes.
It's in Italy that the emphasis was put on Jesus' suffering and realistic details, during a process of general humanization of Christ favored by the Franciscan order. During the 13th century the suffering Italian model triumphed over the traditional Byzantine one anywhere in Europe due to the works of artists such as Giunta Pisano and Cimabue. Since the Renaissance the "S"-shape is much less pronounced. Eastern Christian blessing crosses will have the Crucifixion depicted on one side, the Resurrection on the other, illustrating the understanding of Orthodox theology that the Crucifixion and Resurrection are two intimately related aspects of the same act of salvation. Another, depiction shows a triumphant Christ, clothed in robes, rather than stripped as for His execution, with arms raised, appearing to rise up from the cross, sometimes accompanied by "rays of light", or an aureole encircling His Body, he may be robed as a prophet, crowned as a king, vested in a stole as Great High Priest. On some crucifixes a skull and crossbones are shown below the corpus, referring to Golgotha, the site at which Jesus was crucified, which the Gospels say means in Hebrew "the place of the skull."
Medieval tradition held that it was the burial-place of Adam and Eve, that the cross of Christ was raised directly over Adam's skull, so many crucifixes manufactured in Catholic countries still show the skull and crossbones below the corpus. Large crucifixes have been built, the largest being the Cross in the Woods in Michigan, with a 31 feet high statue. Prayer in front of a crucifix, seen as a sacramental, is part of devotion for Christians those worshipping in a church privately; the person may sit, stand, or kneel in front of the crucifix, sometimes looking at it in contemplation, or in front of it with head bowed or eyes closed. During the Middle Ages small crucifixes hung on a wall, beca
Arrest of Jesus
The arrest of Jesus was a pivotal event in Christianity recorded in the canonical gospels. Jesus, a preacher whom Christians consider to be the Son of God, was arrested by the Temple guards of the Sanhedrin in the Garden of Gethsemane, it occurred shortly after the Last Supper, after the kiss of Judas, traditionally said to have been an act of betrayal since Judas made a deal with the chief priests to arrest Jesus. The event led, in the Gospel accounts, to Jesus' crucifixion; the arrest led to his trial before the Sanhedrin, during which they condemned him to death and handed him to Pilate the following morning. In Christian theology, the events from the Last Supper until the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus are referred to as the Passion. In the New Testament, all four Gospels conclude with an extended narrative of Jesus' arrest, crucifixion and resurrection. In each Gospel, these five events in the life of Jesus are treated with more intense detail than any other portion of that Gospel's narrative.
Scholars note that the reader receives an hour-by-hour account of what is happening. According to the canonical gospels, after the Last Supper and his disciples went out to Gethsemane, a garden located at the edge of the Kidron Valley, thought by scholars to have been an olive grove. Once there, he is described as leaving the group; the synoptics state that Jesus asked God that his burden be taken from him, requested not to need to undergo the events that he was due to, though giving the final choice to God. Luke states that an angel appeared and strengthened Jesus, who returned to his disciples; the synoptics state that the three disciples that were with Jesus had fallen asleep, that Jesus criticized them for failing to stay awake for an hour, suggesting that they pray so that they could avoid temptation. At that point, Judas gave Jesus a kiss, as a pre-arranged sign to those that had accompanied Judas as to who Jesus was. Having been identified, the officers arrested Jesus, although one of Jesus' disciples thought to stop them with a sword, but cut off the ear of one of the arresting officers.
The Gospel of John specifies that it had been Simon Peter who had cut off the ear of Malchus, the servant of Caiaphas, the high priest. Luke adds. John and Luke state that Jesus criticized the violent act, insisting that they do not resist Jesus' arrest. In Matthew, Jesus made the well known statement "all who live by the sword, shall die by the sword"; the account in the Gospel of John differs from that of the synoptics: only in John do Roman soldiers help to carry out the arrest. Judas leads the arresting party to Jesus, but rather than Judas pointing out Jesus, John has Jesus himself, "knowing all, to happen to him", ask them whom they are looking for; the arrest of Jesus and Judas' role in acting as a guide to those arresting him are subsequently referred to by Peter in Acts 1:16. Chronology of Jesus Life of Jesus in the New Testament Brown, Raymond E. An Introduction to the New Testament Doubleday 1997 ISBN 0-385-24767-2 Brown, Raymond E. et al. The New Jerome Biblical Commentary Prentice Hall 1990 ISBN 0-13-614934-0 Kilgallen, John J.
A Brief Commentary on the Gospel of Mark Paulist Press 1989 ISBN 0-8091-3059-9 Miller, Robert J. Editor The Complete Gospels Polebridge Press 1994 ISBN 0-06-065587-9
Gothic Revival architecture
Gothic Revival is an architectural movement popular in the Western world that began in the late 1740s in England. Its popularity grew in the early 19th century, when serious and learned admirers of neo-Gothic styles sought to revive medieval Gothic architecture, in contrast to the neoclassical styles prevalent at the time. Gothic Revival draws features from the original Gothic style, including decorative patterns, lancet windows, hood moulds and label stops; the Gothic Revival movement emerged in 18th-century England. Its roots were intertwined with philosophical movements associated with Catholicism and a re-awakening of High Church or Anglo-Catholic belief concerned by the growth of religious nonconformism; the "Anglo-Catholicism" tradition of religious belief and style became widespread for its intrinsic appeal in the third quarter of the 19th century. Gothic Revival architecture varied in its faithfulness to both the ornamental style and principles of construction of its medieval original, sometimes amounting to little more than pointed window frames and a few touches of Gothic decoration on a building otherwise on a wholly 19th-century plan and using contemporary materials and construction methods.
In parallel to the ascendancy of neo-Gothic styles in 19th-century England, interest spread to the continent of Europe, in Australia, Sierra Leone, South Africa and to the Americas. The influence of the Revival had peaked by the 1870s. New architectural movements, sometimes related as in the Arts and Crafts movement, sometimes in outright opposition, such as Modernism, gained ground, by the 1930s the architecture of the Victorian era was condemned or ignored; the 20th century saw a revival of interest, manifested in the United Kingdom by the establishment of the Victorian Society in 1958. The rise of Evangelicalism in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries saw in England a reaction in the High church movement which sought to emphasise the continuity between the established church and the pre-Reformation Catholic church. Architecture, in the form of the Gothic Revival, became one of the main weapons in the High church's armoury; the Gothic Revival was paralleled and supported by "medievalism", which had its roots in antiquarian concerns with survivals and curiosities.
As "industrialisation" progressed, a reaction against machine production and the appearance of factories grew. Proponents of the picturesque such as Thomas Carlyle and Augustus Pugin took a critical view of industrial society and portrayed pre-industrial medieval society as a golden age. To Pugin, Gothic architecture was infused with the Christian values, supplanted by classicism and were being destroyed by industrialisation. Gothic Revival took on political connotations. In English literature, the architectural Gothic Revival and classical Romanticism gave rise to the Gothic novel genre, beginning with The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, inspired a 19th-century genre of medieval poetry that stems from the pseudo-bardic poetry of "Ossian". Poems such as "Idylls of the King" by Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson recast modern themes in medieval settings of Arthurian romance. In German literature, the Gothic Revival had a grounding in literary fashions. Gothic architecture began at the Basilica of Saint Denis near Paris, the Cathedral of Sens in 1140 and ended with a last flourish in the early 16th century with buildings like Henry VII's Chapel at Westminster.
However, Gothic architecture did not die out in the 16th century but instead lingered in on-going cathedral-building projects. In Bologna, in 1646, the Baroque architect Carlo Rainaldi constructed Gothic vaults for the Basilica of San Petronio in Bologna, under construction since 1390. Guarino Guarini, a 17th-century Theatine monk active in Turin, recognized the "Gothic order" as one of the primary systems of architecture and made use of it in his practice. Gothic architecture survived in an urban setting during the 17th century, as shown in Oxford and Cambridge, where some additions and repairs to Gothic buildings were considered to be more in keeping with the style of the original structures than contemporary Baroque. Sir Christopher Wren's Tom Tower for Christ Church, University of Oxford, Nicholas Hawksmoor's west towers of Westminster Abbey, blur the boundaries between what is called "Gothic survival" and the Gothic Revival. Throughout France in the 16th and 17th centuries, churches such as St-Eustache continued to be built following gothic forms cloaked in classical details, until the arrival of Baroque architecture.
In the mid-18th century, with the rise of Romanticism, an increased in
A choir sometimes called quire, is the area of a church or cathedral that provides seating for the clergy and church choir. It is in the western part of the chancel, between the nave and the sanctuary, which houses the altar and Church tabernacle. In larger medieval churches it contained choir-stalls, seating aligned with the side of the church, so at right-angles to the seating for the congregation in the nave. Smaller medieval churches may not have a choir in the architectural sense at all, they are lacking in churches built by all denominations after the Protestant Reformation, though the Gothic Revival revived them as a distinct feature; as an architectural term "choir" remains distinct from the actual location of any singing choir – these may located in various places, sing from a choir-loft over the door at the liturgical western end. In modern churches, the choir may be located centrally behind the pulpit; the back-choir or retroquire is a space behind the high altar in the choir of a church, in which there may be a small altar standing back to back with the other.
In the Early Church, the sanctuary was connected directly to the nave. The choir was the east part of the nave, was fenced off by a screen or low railing, called cancelli, where the English word chancel comes from; the development of the architectural feature known as the choir is the result of the liturgical development brought about by the end of persecutions under Constantine the Great and the rise of monasticism. The word "choir" is first used by members of the Latin Church. Isidore of Seville and Honorius of Autun write that the term is derived from the "corona", the circle of clergy or singers who surrounded the altar; when first introduced, the choir was attached to the bema, the elevated platform in the center of the nave on which were placed seats for the higher clergy and a lectern for scripture readings. This arrangement can still be observed at the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome. Over time, the bema and choir moved eastward to their current position. In some churches, such as Westminster Cathedral, the choir is arranged in the apse behind the altar.
The architectural details of the choir developed in response to its function as the place where the Divine Office was chanted by the monastic brotherhood or the chapter of canons. The chancel was regarded as the clergy's part of the church, any choirboys from a choir school counted as part of the clergy for this purpose. After the Reformation, when the number of clergy present in large churches and cathedrals tended to reduce, lay singing choirs became more frequent, there were objections to placing them in the traditional choir stalls in the chancel; the pulpit and lectern are usually found at the front of the choir, though both Catholic and Protestant churches have sometimes moved the pulpit to the nave for better audibility. The organ may be in a loft elsewhere in the church; some cathedrals have a retro-choir behind the High Altar, opening eastward towards the chapels in the eastern extremity. After the Reformation Protestant churches moved the altar forward to the front of the chancel, used lay choirs who were placed in a gallery at the west end.
The choir and rear of deep chancels became little used in churches surviving from the Middle Ages, new churches often omitted one. With the emphasis on sermons, their audibility, some churches converted their chancels to seat part of the congregation. In 19th-century England one of the battles of the Cambridge Camden Society, the architectural wing of the Anglo-Catholics in the Church of England, was to restore the chancel, including the choir, as a necessary part of a church. By pushing the altar back to its medieval position and having the choir used by a lay choir, they were successful in this, although the harder end of the High Church objected to allowing a large group of laity into the chancel. Different approaches to worship in the 20th century again tended to push altars in larger churches forward, to be closer to the congregation, the chancel again risks being a less used area of the church; the choir area is occupied by sometimes finely carved and decorated wooden seats known as choir stalls, where the clergy sit, stand or kneel during services.
The choir may be furnished either with individual choir stalls. There may be several rows of seating running parallel to the walls of the church; the use of choir stalls is more traditional in collegiate churches. Monastic choir stalls are fitted with seats that fold up when the monastics stand and fold down when they sit; the hinged seat will have a misericord on the underside on which he can lean while standing during the long services. The upper part of the monk's stall is so shaped as to provide a headrest while sitting, arm rests when standing. Monasteries will have strict rules as to when the monastics may sit and when they must stand during the services. Choir benches are more common in parish churches; each bench may have padded kneelers attached to the back of it so that the person behind may kneel at the appropriate times during services. The front row will have a long prie-dieu running in front of it for the choir members to place their books on, which may be fitted with kneelers. In a cathedral, the bishop's throne or cathedra is located in this space.
Cathedral architecture Cathedral floorplan Kathisma Kliros Matroneum Texts on Wikisource: "Choir". Encyclopædia Britannica. 6. 1911. Pp. 260–261. Poole, Thomas Henr
Ecce homo are the Latin words used by Pontius Pilate in the Vulgate translation of the Gospel of John, when he presents a scourged Jesus Christ and crowned with thorns, to a hostile crowd shortly before his Crucifixion. The original New Testament Greek: "ἰδοὺ ὁ ἄνθρωπος", translit. "idoù ho ánthropos", render the most English Bible translations, e.g. Douay-Rheims Bible and King James Version, as "behold the man"; the scene has been depicted in Christian art. A scene of the Ecce Homo is a standard component of cycles illustrating the Passion and Life of Christ in art, it follows the Flagellation of Christ, the Crowning with thorns and the Mocking of Christ, the last two being combined: The usual depiction shows Pilate and Christ, the mocking crowd and parts of the city of Jerusalem. But, from the 15th century, devotional pictures began to portray Jesus alone, in half or full figure with a purple robe, crown of thorns and torture wounds on his head. Similar subjects but with the wounds of the crucifixion visible, are termed a Man of Sorrow.
If the instruments of the Passion are present, it may be called an Arma Christi. If Christ is sitting down, it may be referred to it as Christ at Pensive Christ, it is not always possible to distinguish these subjects. The first depictions of the ecce homo scene in the arts appear in the 9th and 10th centuries in the Syrian-Byzantine culture of the Antiochian Greek Christians. In Eastern Orthodoxy this type of icon is known by a different title: ″Jesus Christ the Bridegroom″, it is derived from the words in New Testament Greek: translit. "idoù ho nymphíos", by which Jesus Christ reveals himself, in his Parable of the Ten Virgins according to the Gospel of Matthew, as the bearer of the most high joy. The icon presents the bridegroom as a suffering Christ and humiliated by Pontius Pilate's soldiers before his crucifixion; the daily Midnight Office summons the faithful to be ready at all times for the day of the Dread Judgement, which will come unexpectedly like "a bridegroom in the night". On Monday and Wednesday, the first three days of Passion Week, the last week before Pascha, consecrated to the commemoration of the last days of the earthly life of the Saviour, is chanted the troparion "Behold the Bridegroom Cometh at Midnight".
A Passion Play, presented in Moscow and in Rome, recalls the words, with which "in Holy Scriptures Christ describes Himself as a bridegroom": Depictions of Western Christianity in the Middle Ages, e.g. the Egbert Codex and the Codex Aureus Epternacensis, seem to depict the ecce homo scene, but more than not only show the Crowning of thorns and the Mocking of Christ, which precede the actual ecce homo scene in the Bible. The independent image only developed around 1400 in Burgundy, but rapidly became popular in Northern Europe; the motif found increasing currency as the Passion became a central theme in Western piety in the 15th and 16th centuries. The ecce homo theme was included not only in the passion plays of medieval theatre, but in cycles of illustrations of the story of the Passion, as in the Great Passion of Albrecht Dürer or the chalcographies of Martin Schongauer; the scene was depicted as a sculpture or group of sculptures. Like the passion plays, the visual depictions of the ecce homo scene, it has been argued and portray the people of Jerusalem in a critical light, bordering on antisemitic caricatures.
This style of art has been read as a kind of simplistic externalisation of the inner hatred of the angry crowd towards Jesus, not implying any racial judgment. The motif of the lone figure of a suffering Christ who seems to be staring directly at the observer, enabling him/her to identify with the events of the Passion, arose in the late Middle Ages. At the same time similar motifs of the Man of Sorrow and Christ at rest increased in importance; the subject was used in so-called old master prints, in the paintings of the Renaissance and the Baroque, as well as in Baroque sculptures. Hieronymus Bosch painted his first Ecce Homo during the 1470s, he returned to the subject in 1490 to paint in a characteristically Netherlandish style, with deep perspective and a surreal ghostly image of praying monks in the lower left-hand corner. In 1498, Albrecht Dürer depicted the suffering of Christ in the Ecce Homo of his Great Passion in unusually close relation with his self-portrait, leading to a reinterpretation of the motif as a metaphor for the suffering of the artist.
James Ensor used the ecce homo motif in his ironic painting Christ and the Critics, in which he portrayed himself as Christ. Antonio Ciseri's 1871 Ecce Homo portrayal presents a semi-photographic view of a balcony seen from behind the central figures of a scourged Christ and Pilate; the crowd forms a distant mass without individuality, much of the detailed focus is on the secondary figures of Pilate's aides, guards and wife. One of the more famous modern versions of the Ecce Homo motif was that by the Polish art