• Fred R. Kline

Luis de Morales (called El Divino)


"EVERYTHING IS A METAPHOR; THERE IS ONLY POETRY."

Norman O. Brown, LOVE'S BODY (the last sentence in the book)

Luis de Morales (called El Divino) Badajoz, Spain, 1512-1586 Ecce Homo, c.1530’s 17.25 x 12 in. (43.81 x 30.48 cm) Oil on wood panel Kline Collection * * * * Evidence suggests the Kline Ecce Homo is a lost work by Morales, in all likelihood his earliest known Ecce Homo, a subject he evolved throughout his career. The verso of the Ecce Homo contains a very rare and unusual Horoscope of Christ, a symbol of mystical Christianity, which reappears in more sophisticated form in Morales's later Holy Family of 1562-1569 (Hispanic Society of America). Doubtless other astrological or alchemical elements related to the Horoscope of Christ or other mystical Christian symbols have appeared elsewhere on the versos of Morales’s paintings but are now lost due to relining or other conservation methods over the centuries. Morales was undoubtedly a Christian mystic and infused his paintings with the single minded passion of an ascetic. No other artist of the Spanish Renaissance depicted the Horoscope of Christ on a painting. The repeated Ecce Homo subject and the repeated Horoscope of Christ, and in all likelihood his probable early Flemish stylistic influence, point with a good deal of certainty to Morales as the author.