Christ at the Column, Guido Reni
Guido Reni
Christ at the Column
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Guido Reni

Christ at the Column, ca. 1603

192.7 x 114.4 cm
Physical Description
Inventory Number
Acquired in 1875
Not on display


About the Work

Christ stands beside the whipping post with his head lowered. He emerges from the darkness, with light and shade modelling every muscle of his body. Resigned to his fate, he awaits the blows of the ruffians who have not yet begun their work. By presenting a close-up view of Christ the artist in a way places the viewer in the position of the executioner's henchmen. Guido Reni had trained initially in Bologna at the academy of the Carracci. He produced the Frankfurt painting soon after moving to Rome; it demonstrates Reni's recent study of the art of Caravaggio. The young painter followed the latter's striving to achieve the direct presence of the figure, but removes any drastic elements in favour of concentrating on the figure of the Son of God. The artist may have created this work for his Roman patron, Cardinal Paolo Emilio Sfondrati, a possibility suggested by the whipping post, which is an exact copy of the one revered to this day in the Basilica S. Prassede. Sfondrati was the protector of the associated monastery and belonged to the circles that showed an increased interest in the ancient relics of early Christianity.

Work Data

Basic Information

Christ at the Column
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
CC BY-SA 4.0 Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Acquired in 1875

Work Content

Motifs and References

Main Motif
Persons Shown
Associated Persons and Institutions
Illustrated Passage
  • Bibel, Neues Testament, Matthäus 27,26
  • Bibel, Neues Testament, Markus 15,15
  • Bibel, Neues Testament, Johannes 19,1


  • 73D35121 Christ on the whipping-post (after the flagellation)

Research and Discussion


Object History
Johann Theodor Wiesen (1794-1875), Frankfurt am Main
Nachlass Theodor Wiesen, 1875, Frankfurt am Main, 1875
Verst. an das Städelsche Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main, 8. Juni 1875 (Los-Nr. 34).


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