Within Morales’s oeuvre the Ecce Homo was one of the subjects that he most frequently depicted and in his most distinctive manner. In general, Morales’s range of subjects was not particularly wide but he used them with remarkable effectiveness to create fervently pious images that reflect the spirit of Spanish mysticism of this period.
This panel is executed in the most characteristic style of an artist whose early training introduced him to Italian models, which he subsequently interpreted with a Flemish sensibility and technique and a sense of pathos derived from the late Gothic tradition. Formal elegance and delicate, precise execution enriched by faint, subtle glazes are also characteristics of his mature style. Other similar depictions of this subject by Morales include the Ecce Homo in the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid and the version in the Hispanic Society in New York, although they are both compositions that include more than one figure. The similarity between those works and the present panel combined with its particular stylistic features allow it to be dated to the last period of Morales’s career. It may have been one of a pair forming a diptych with an image of the Mater Dolorosa, such as the one now in the Museo de Bellas Artes, Malaga. Such works were widespread during this period and were intended for use in private devotion.