Man of Sorrows

Christ is depicted dead, upright within a rose-coloured marble sarcophagus, to the level of his pelvis. His hands are crossed in front and his head inclines a little towards the right shoulder. His eyes are closed, his mouth is half-open. The luxuriant dark brown hair falls in waves on the shoulders. In his right side is the wound from the lance and on his hands are the marks (stigmata) of the nails, rendered by black dots surrounded by the dried blood. The halo is a simple incised circle. Visible behind Christ are the three arms of the Cross. High up on the vertical arm, upon a small thin pole, is an open scroll on which scant traces of an inscription are preserved. The Cross and the sarcophagus are presented in correct perspective and the grain of the wood is painted on the former.

This par excellence iconographic subject of the Passion, known in Byzantium already from the twelfth century, enjoyed considerable popularity in Italy during the Trecento (Belting 1982, 142ff.). It was reproduced by Cretan artists in the fifteenth century, in accordance with Italian models, especially as these had been elaborated in Florence and Venice.

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