Description from Wikipedia:

    The work depicts Jesus carrying the cross above a dark background, surrounded by numerous heads, most of which characterized with grotesque faces. There are a total of eighteen portraits, plus one on Veronica's veil. Jesus has a woeful expression, his closed eyes and the head reclinate. In the bottom right corner is the impenitent thief, who sneers against three men who are mocking him. The penitent thief is at top right: he is portrayed with a very pale skin, while being confessed by a horribly ugly monk.

    Detail. The bottom left corner houses Veronica with the holy shroud, her eyes half-open and the face looking back. Finally, at the top left is Simon of Cyrene, his face upside upturned.


Thanks for this! Great piece. It's not from the same era by any means, but this one's been haunting me since I saw it at the DIA (quite a while ago now):

Not really surreal, at least not any more so than the Greek myth which inspired it, but certainly disturbing. Especially because there's some basis to it: horses do apparently sometimes throw down on some flesh. Horses of instruction, my arse!

As far as the Renaissance painters go, especially Dutch, I've always really liked Brueghel's (the elder) stuff. Equally preoccupied with religious themes, comparably grotesque. In tracking down his paintings, I see one of them was used on a Black Sabbath album cover. 'Nuff said? His other stuff is broad in scope and often whimsical, which I like, such as this one:

posted by thenewgreen: 1899 days ago