18th century, Polychrome wax in a case
In the absence of information provided by the artist – a signature, initials, or an indication of a place of origin – it is exceedingly difficult to attribute works executed in wax, a technique that was considered a minor genre due to the very transience of the material, even though such works were very often produced by talented and refined artists. Unfortunately, this is the case with this beautiful Ecce Homo, skilfully modelled by an artist who shows mastery of the technique and shrewdness in the use of colour, which excellently simulates the true appearance of the flesh and the purple mantle, which was given to Jesus with a reed for a sceptre and a crown of thorns, in order to mock him. The expression on the face, of intense suffering and resignation, attests to the great skill of this anonymous artist who beautifully depicts the torso with admirable awareness of anatomy. It is possible to date the work to the 18th century due to the cultural and stylistic affinities of the sculpture, which shows the influence of both late Mannerist Flemish painting and Spanish polychrome wooden sculpture.