KNPFER, Nicolaus
(b. ca. 1603, Leipzig, d. 1655, Utrecht)

Christ before Herod Antipas

Oil on panel, 46 x 61 cm
Szpmvszeti Mzeum, Budapest

Nicolaus Knpfer is considered by art historians to be one of the nonconformist eccentrics. It is only one manifestation of his eccentricity that he enjoyed reaching for rarely depicted themes including some that could be found in the New Testament. This can be seen in his painting Christ before Herod Antipas, an episode that occurs only in the Gospel of St Luke. The wall with the low door, closing off the space, looks like a stage set. The curtains and the stage raised by three steps on the right and extending to the plane of the painting are theatrical. The king, leaning back on his throne, is shrieking with laughter and the soldier on one knee, dressing Jesus in a white mantle, has his back to us. His hulking comrade, leaning on his stave, calls through the door to recruit more spectators for Jesus' derision.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krn and Daniel Marx.