Christ Carrying the Cross

size(cm): 35X40
Sale price$141.00 USD


Around the year 1508 or 1509, Titian painted an oil painting that is known as Christ Carrying the Cross .

The actual origins of the painting are somewhat mysterious, and have even been attributed by various art historians on occasion to another Italian painter, Giorgione. Both painters belonged to a guild of artists linked to the school and the church, both worked at the same time and place, and it is likely that the work was painted expressly for the institution. Another mystery about oil painting is that it was said to have miraculous healing abilities, which have been written about in many historical narratives. Pilgrims prayed in the church at a side altar where the painting was hung and reported that they had been cured of ailments.

The overall mood of the work is gloomy and dark. The brightest colors are muted flesh tones, and the palette is dominated by various shades of brown. On an almost black background, Christ appears in semi-profile carrying the cross on his shoulder. As he looks to the left, an angry-looking executioner tightens a noose around his neck, and another figure slightly behind the executioner looks in behind the scene. The composition is in a style that was innovative at the time, a close-up view that eschewed perspective and depth for intimacy and detail. Characteristically for Titian, the painting is full of action and rest seems distant for the characters represented.

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