Flagellation, XV century, Musee des Antiquites, Rouen
In this balanced composition the tall slender figure of Christ stands with his arms clasping the pillar and tied with a rope held by one of the torturers. Behind Christ’s head is a halo. All four bearded torturers wear rolled-brim hats and belted tunics. The two torturers standing behind swing their scourges behind their heads, about to strike. The line of Christ’s hands is extended across the composition by the scourges of the two shorter torturers in front as they prepare to strike. The remaining bright red paint gives some hint of the vivid colour of the original effect.
The Flagellation was a very popular subject for alabaster panels, with over 50 recorded fifteenth-century panels, and at least ten still forming part of extant Passion altarpieces.