“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Martin Schongauer – The Carrying of the Cross
The Bible does not mention Jesus tripping, collapsing or falling. It is not unlikely that these details were added to underline the severity of the relatively short trip, and serve to illustrate the burden of the sins of all mankind that Jesus had taken onto himself.
This is Martin Schongauer’s (1447 – 1491) largest print, and also one of his most detailed. Other artists would have preferred painting on a large canvas, but Schongauer used a 43 cm (17 inch) wide copper plate.
The print shows how Jesus collapses under the cross, on his way to Golgotha. He is surrounded by a crowd of spectators and soldiers. The landscape in the background shows resemblance to the works of the Flemish Primitives.
During the 15th and 16th centuries the Franciscans began to build a series of outdoor shrines in Europe to duplicate their counterparts in the Holy Land. In 1686, in answer to their petition, Pope Innocent XI granted to the Franciscans the right to erect stations within their churches. In 1731, Pope Clement XII extended to all churches the right to have the stations, provided that a Franciscan father erected them, with the consent of the local bishop. At the same time the number was fixed at fourteen. In 1857, the bishops of England were allowed to erect the stations by themselves, without the intervention of a Franciscan priest, and in 1862 this right was extended to bishops throughout the church.
There are stations of the cross in so many churches, often made by local artists. This one is from the Church Notre-Dame-des-Champs in Normandie, France.
Hieronymus Bosch – Christ Carrying the Cross
This painting made by the now famous Jeroen Bosch was made circa 1480. Bosch made three painting of Christ Carrying the Cross, all very different. The other two are displayed in Ghent and Madrid, this version of Christ carrying the cross hangs in Vienna.