(b. 1591, Coulommier-en-Brie, d. 1632, Roma)

Crowning with Thorns

Oil on canvas, 128 x 95 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

During the first decades of the 17th century, painting in France was still dominated by Mannerist tendencies. A number of young French artists who travelled to Rome to study, however, came under the influence of Caravaggio's naturalism and tenebrism, creating a group known as the French Caravaggisti who, on returning to their own country, introduced the Baroque style. The most outstanding of these artists was Valentin de Boulogne (Le Valentin), of whose short life we know little, although we do know that he was in Rome in 1616. There he specialized in paintings of everyday subjects, although he also produced some religious works, including this one, which was made after a Caravaggio painting (now lost).