Christ With A Crown of Thorns by Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834 - 1890)

This etching was completed in 1882 by Carl Block, who, during the final decade of his career, took up printmaking, crafting masterful etchings of everyday moments, the Danish countryside, and meaningful episodes from the life of Jesus Christ. This version is an etching which allows Bloch's use of light to stand front and centre as the focal point, centring on Christ's steady gaze beneath his crown of thorns. The composition is similar to the representation of Christ from Bloch's work "The Mocking Christ" that was completed 1880.

Danish artist Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834 - 1890) studied with Wilhelm Marstrand at the Royal Danish Academy of Art (Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi). His early work featured rural scenes from everyday life but grew into the development of the historical style for which he is recognized. in 1865, Bloch was commissioned to produce 23 paintings for the Chapel at Frederiksborg Palace.

In traditional pure etching, a metal (usually copper, zinc or steel) plate is covered with a waxy ground which is resistant to acid. The artist then scratches off the ground with a pointed etching needle where he or she wants a line to appear in the finished piece, so exposing the bare metal. The plate is then dipped in a bath of acid, technically called the mordant or etchant, or has acid washed over it. The acid "bites" into the metal (it dissolves part of the metal) where it is exposed, leaving behind lines sunk into the plate. The remaining ground is then cleaned off the plate. The plate is inked all over, and then the ink wiped off the surface, leaving only the ink in the etched lines. The plate is then put through a high-pressure printing press together with a sheet of paper (often moistened to soften it). The paper picks up the ink from the etched lines, making a print.