European Painting before 1900, Johnson Collection
Antonio Mancini, Italian, 1852 - 1930
Oil on canvas
2004-108-4Vance N. Jordan Collection, 2004
LabelMancini had taken up the theme of the saltimbanco (a young circus or street performer) in earlier paintings, but he conceived this work on an unprecedented scale, probably in anticipation of exhibiting it at the prestigious Salon of the French Royal Academy in Paris. The model is Mancini's favorite, Luigiello. The artist invested his subject with an important secondary meaning, deriving the pose of the figure from traditional representations of Christ bound and displayed to the public-types known variously as "Ecce Homo-Behold the man," and the "Man of Sorrows." Mancini used a similar motif in his 1868 painting The Street Urchin. In both cases, Mancini seemed intent on suggesting anew the traditional parallel between the sufferings of Christ and of mankind.
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