This painting provides a close-up look at the wooden cross on which the Son of God fulfilled His sacrifice. The ladder used to take Jesus down still leans on the cross. Jesus’ body lies in the loving arms of His mother and John. At His feet, two other Apostles and Mary Magdalene are depicted. Behind Jesus stands Joseph of Arimathea and St. Peter, who is usually absent from paintings of this scene. Nicodemus, the Pharisee, stands on the opposite side.
The moment of mourning first appeared in Christian art around the 12th century, probably under the inspiration of mystic meditations. It also recalls the lamentations that accompany funeral rites in the Eastern Mediterranean.
(Pope St. Paul VI, Speech at the end of the Way of the Cross at the Colosseum, 12 April 1968)
Under the direction of Paolo Ondarza
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