Man of Sorrows - responses

Date of news: 25 March 2016

Fol. 178r

The Man of Sorrows is a devotional image detached from the narrative of Christ’s Passion in which he shows his wounds from an open grave. Usually Christ is depicted alone, but sometimes he is supported by angels. In this miniature he is being held by his mother Mary. The background shows people and instruments that played a part in the Passion of Christ: the tray with silver coins, the sword and the halberd all point Judas’ betrayal and his arrest by the Pharisees. Peter, who denounced Christ three times before the cock crowed, is in the upper left corner; the red cockerel is sitting on the cross. The other faces belong to the judges in front of whom Christ had to stand trial. Saint Veronica’s veil - upon which an impression of Christ’s face was left after she used it to wipe the sweat from his brow - is depicted as well. The whipping post, whip and fist symbolise the flagellation; the hammer, axe, ladder, sponge and pair of tongs point to the crucifixion. The three dice that the soldiers used to play for Christ’s purple cloak are spread throughout the picture, and the three golden pots in front of the tomb contain the ointment the three Marys carried to the grave to anoint the body of Christ.