Ecce Homo, the king Caspar, the Virgin and Child

This drawing, a design made for a stained glass window at a Swiss abbey, depicts the Ecce Homo. Crowned with thorns, Christ is displayed before the jeering crowd by Pontius Pilate shortly before he is crucified. Christ, scourged and bound, looks out at the masses while Pilate gazes out at the viewer, as if to implicate him or her in the action. Framing the scene are the Virgin and Child, the wise man King Caspar, and angels who bear instruments of the Passion. Below are the arms of the families from Lucerne who commissioned the window: the Kündigs, documented as bailiffs, and the Pfyffers, who were of noble stock.Murer's drawing is part of a large and important series of stained glass window designs for the cloister of the Cistercian abbey of Rathausen in the canton of Lucerne. The works were executed between 1592 and 1623 and comprised sixty seven panes depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments. Until 1611, the windows were made by Franz Fallenter, who followed the designs of various Swiss artists, including Daniel Lindtmayer, Hans Heinrich Wagman, and Christoph Murer. The large size and shape of the drawing, made from four sheets of paper glued together, match the actual dimensions of the window, which is preserved in Schloss Heidegg, Switzerland. The window is signed and dated by Fallenter (FF 1593).

Black ink, gray wash, traces of black chalk on four joined sheets of paper (1592)

by Christoph Murer (Swiss, 1558-1614)

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