Ecce Homo is executed in the so-called Tüchlein or distemper technique: paint made of finely ground pigments and animal glue applied to finely woven linen. The colours of works painted in distemper are particularly vibrant and remain clearly visible even in poor lighting. However, such works are extremely fragile as the paint remains soluble, meaning they can never be varnished. It is extremely rare for such paintings to remain as well preserved as this one.
Series of masterpieces
The Prince William V Gallery showcases an international masterpiece every autumn. These works are drawn from international collections and comprise paintings by masters seldom or ever exhibited in the Netherlands. Other works in this series of masterpieces include Boy Bitten by a Lizard by Caravaggio from the National Gallery in London, Venus Rising from the Sea (The Birth of Venus) by Titian from the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh and last year’s showpiece, Portrait of Don Diego de Acedo by Diego Velázquez from the Prado in Madrid.
Mantegna in the Gallery has been made possible by Johan Maurits Compagnie Foundation.
The Prince William V Gallery is a hidden gem in the historical centre of The Hague. Stadtholder Prince William V of Oranje-Nassau commissioned the gallery to be built in 1774 in order to exhibit his paintings. The walls were covered from floor to ceiling in order to show off the wealth of his collection. The Gallery has recently been restored to its former splendour and now displays over 150 Old Masters, including Rembrandt, Jan Steen, Rubens and Paulus Potter. Crystal chandeliers, silken wall coverings and lavish curtains add to the regal atmosphere.