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The great painter Vecellio Titian, who lived in the Renaissance Era, created his painting “Carrying the Cross” in around 1565. He was a supporter of the theme of martyrdom and the new aesthetic direction of Baroque, which is clearly noticeable in this picture. Since 1850, his creation, brought from the Barbarigo collection, has been under guard at the Hermitage Museum.
The idea of the artist to depict Jesus Christ in this picture is not in the form of a deity dominating over all things, but in the form of a sufferer who steadfastly endures his physical and mental torment for the salvation of mankind. Titian often took biblical stories as the basis for the plots of his paintings. This time he decided to depict the scene of the carrying of the cross by the son of God at the place of his execution at Calvary.
On the canvas are two faces close to the viewer. The central figure of the canvas is Jesus, in whose eyes the expression of fatigue from the heavy oppression of the cross, as well as from suffering and still waiting for his suffering, hardens. Thin streams of blood oozing through his temples and neck because of thorns of thorns thrust into his head. Using a dark background and strict straight lines of the cross, Titian emphasizes the softness of the silhouette, the pale complexion of the Savior’s face and hands, dressed in light olive clothes.
The image of the second man Joseph of Arimathea is shrouded in the shadow of twilight. He tries to help the martyr and take part of his heavy burden upon himself. The gray hair in his beard and hair merges with the garment of Christ. It is these techniques that help the artist make the image of Joseph foggy and almost ethereal, focusing on the main character.
Titian portrays the face of Christ turned to the audience. Probably, in order to meet his eyes with his eyes, everyone remembered the sacrifice made by the Savior, and wondered how much it cost him.
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