TIZIANO Vecellio
(b. 1490, Pieve di Cadore, d. 1576, Venezia)

Christ Carrying the Cross

Oil on canvas, 67 x 77 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

In the 1570s Titian executed an outstanding series of paintings dedicated to the passion of Christ. This include the Crowning with Thorns (Alte Pinakothek, Munich), Mocking of Christ (Art Museum, St. Louis), Ecce Homo (The Hermitage, St. Petersburg), and two versions of Christ Carrying the Cross (The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, and Museo del Prado, Madrid). In these works, pervaded with immense dramatic power, the brushstrokes gradually dissolve into rapidly applied dabs of pigment. The aim is no longer to reproduce nature but to directly convey the raw emotion of the painter, who is participating fully in the tragic subject of his picture.