A detailed oil on canvas depicting ‘the way of the cross’. Italian school, made in the second half of the 18th century (1750-1780).
The Way of the Cross or the Stations of the Cross, also known as the Via Crucis, refers to a series of images of Jesus Christ on the day of his crucifixion. The possible path that Jesus walked to Mount Calvary in Jerusalem (the Via Dolorosa) has been the inspiration for the various stations. The stations help the Christian faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage through the Passion of Christ. It has become one of the most popular devotions and its stations can be found in many Western Christian churches.
There are about fourteen images, each of which varies greatly in style, shape and placement of the stations. The classic depictions of the stations are small plaques with reliefs or paintings placed in or around the church. The fourteen stations are arranged in numbered order with almost every station being found in the bible. Stations three, seven and nine are not exactly described in any particular verse of the bible.
All the stations of the cross:
- The first station: Jesus is condemned to death
- The second station: He is made to bear his cross
- The third station: He falls the first time
- The fourth station: He meets his mother
- The fifth station: Simon of Cyrene is made to bear the cross
- The sixth station: Veronica wipes Jesus’ face
- The seventh station: He falls the second time
- The eighth station: The women of Jerusalem weep over Jesus
- The nineth station: He falls the third time
- The tenth station: He is stripped of his garments
- The eleventh station: He is nailed to the cross
- The twelfth station: He dies on the cross
- The thirteenth station: He is taken down from the cross
- The fourteenth station: He is placed in the sepulcher
French school, Dutch school, Italian school and so much more. The word ‘school’ is used with various meanings and often to describe a certain type of painting style.
In its narrowest sense, the word ‘school’ can denote a group of painters who worked under de influence of another artist. A great example is the ‘school of Leonardo da Vinci’ were a large group of artists worked in the studio of, or under the influence of, Leonardo da Vinci. They are also known as ‘The Leonardeschi’.
In its widest sense, the word ‘school’ can denote a whole country of painters and describe a typical style which reflects the painters of that country. An example is ‘Italian school’ or ‘French school’. In another sense, the word ‘school’ can also denote a certain region of a country. The ‘Venetian school’ applies to painters who worked under local influence or with general similarities in color or technique. Famous examples of ‘Venetian school’ artists are Lazzaro Bastiani (1430-1512), Giovanni Bellini (1430 – 1516) and Giulio Campi (1500-1572).