The Scourging of Christ, Giulio Cesare Procaccini

1069 words 5 pages
Upon walking into Gallery 250 of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, one will find on the wall a particularly eye-catching piece of art. The piece, set high on the corner of the wall encompassed by pictures depicting scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, is Giulio Cesare Procaccini's The Scourging of Christ. In this piece, Procaccini's masterful use of light and shadows in a technique called chiaroscuro dramatically portray the torturing of Christ, and it is this very application of chiaroscuro that immediately caught my eye. Through his masterful rendition of value, Procaccini successfully evoked within me a crushing sensation of agony. While I did not initially realize that the piece was one of Christ, research enabled me to witness how …show more content…

“Procaccini's shallow, claustrophobic composition – with threatening faces half hidden in the shadows...confront viewers with Christ's suffering and inspire emotion.” Seeing as the piece was originally meant to inspire emotion and devotion, it can only be seen as amazing that the piece has such a timeless ability to inspire emotions. In containing such a timeless quality and being such a masterful example of how much emotion a piece of art is able to evoke, Procaccini's The Scourging of Christ is greatly significant. Procaccini's piece is also significant for being one of the few to have such a unique subject matter. Asides from its technique being considerably significant, the subject matter of the piece is also one that is rarely portrayed of in art. While at face value, the subject matter is the commonly-seen scourging of Christ, it is rare for a piece to truly depict Christ in pure agony. As one who did not immediately identify the man as Christ, I was able to notice the pain the character portrayed was in when I first saw the piece. The presence of agony is significant because, in Christian and Catholic paintings, Christ is rarely portrayed as being in unbearable agony due to the fact that his sacrifice was an act out of his affection and compassion for the world. Ergo, in deviating from the norm and being one of the rare pieces existent to portray Christ in pure agony, the piece is significant. Art is powerful in it ability to