Author: Zikaras Juozas, 1881 - 1944
Material/technique: gypsum, bas-relief.
Dimensions: 39,9x29,9 cm.
Signature: J Zikaras (in the middle right side).
Jesus of Nazareth is a subject of the Passion of Jesus, which depicts the humiliation of Jesus at the trial of Pontius Pilot before the Way of the Cross. Jesus was scourged and called the King of Jews, He was scornfully dressed in an old scarlet robe, a crown of thorns was put on his head and a reed put in his hand.
Our beloved Christ was led to the vicinity of the town square, his clothes soaked in blood were stripped and a torn scarlet robe was put on him as if it were a royal gown; a reed instead of a sceptre was put into his hand, and then a crown of thorns was twisted together and set on his head. The crown made blood stream over Jesus’ head. Moreover, the cruel people knelt in front of him and mocked him. ‘Hail, King of the Jews! Here is your crown, your royal garment, and a reed, because you are saying you are a king.’ This is how they mocked and greeted Jesus. Some spat at the Saviour’s face, others took the reed and struck him on the head again and again while the thorns scratched his sacred head. Yet others tore his hair and were beating him on his face. Thus suffering it all the Saviour had no anger or said no word. (Motiejus Valančius, „Žyvatas Jėzaus Kristaus Viešpaties mūsų“, Raštai 3, p. 497–499)
Reference: "The Lithuanian art collection of Jaunius Gumbis". Museum and Collector - 6. Vilnius: National Museum of Lithuania, 2016, Kat. No, P. 66.
The sculptor JUOZAS ZIKARAS (1881–1944) carried out many orders for the Church in the 1920s. He created several significant works on religious themes. He made this portrait of the Saviour in his favourite Classical relief style, which in European art was sometimes used to produce devotional images of saints: the subtly modelled head of Christ is shown in profile. It is bent and crowned with a crown of thorns. The movement, the crown of thorns and the expression on his face, radiant with quiet humility, make us realise that it is an image of the Suffering Christ after he has been scourged and mocked, and can be called Ecce Homo. The original moulds for this bas-relief are held by museums and some churches in Lithuania.
Reference: Art album Heaven and Beyond Compiler Dalia Vasiliunienė, authors Dalia Vasiliunienė and Skaidrė Urbonienė. Vilnius, VALIUNAS ELLEX, 2016, P. 120.
Exhibitions: Académie de Vilna, 2017 October 5 - November 26, National Gallery of Art, Vilnius.
Published: The Lithuanian art collection of Jaunius Gumbis". Museum and Collector - 6. Vilnius: National Museum of Lithuania, 2016, P. 68; Art album "Heaven and Beyond"; compiler Dalia Vasiliunienė, authors Dalia Vasiliunienė and Skaidrė Urbonienė. Vilnius, VALIUNAS ELLEX, 2016, P. 120. Cat. P. 230 No. 27; Académie de Vilna. VILNIUS DRAWING SCHOOL 1866–1915. Exhibition Catalogue. Compiled by dr. J. Širkaitė, Vilnius 2017, P. 357, Cat. No. 386 P. 356; Jolanta Širkaitė. Monograph “Vilnius Drawing School 1866–1915”, Lithuanian Cultural Research Institute, Vilnius 2018, P. 163.
Photograph: display in the exhibition Académie de Vilna, 2017 October 5 - November 26, National Gallery of Art, Vilnius.