Wednesday, March 27, 2013


At the central axis of this rather modest panel painting by Hieronymus Bosch is the quiet  face of Christ Jesus. Bosch's depiction seems a visualization of these words of the prophet Isaiah:

Though he was harshly treated, he submitted
and opened not his mouth;
like a lamb led to the slaughter
or a sheep before the shearers,
he was silent and opened not his mouth.
Oppressed and condemned, he was taken away,
and who would have thought any more of his destiny?
When he was cut off from the land of the living,
and smitten for the sin of his people.

Veronica's elegant profile in the lower left quadrant is the second place of peace in this crowded composition. Legend says she bravely risked the scorn of crowd and soldiers to wipe Christ's blood and sweat stained face. 

Hieronymus Bosch, The Carrying of the Cross, 1515-1516,  oil on panel, 29" x 32", Ghent.