Friday, April 6, 2012

Picture of the day: Christ carrying the cross...

And, to illustrate Good Friday I choose this painting by Lorenzo Lotto, Italian painter: The Carrying of the Cross, painted in 1526. 
I saw it just a few hours ago, in the Louvre.  A rather modest size, most people just pass this one, on their way to see the Mona Lisa, but my eyes caught sight of it from a distance, and maybe it's the fact that today is Good Friday that attracted me to it.  
This is the whole painting, not only a detail, the painter chose to do this close-up, tight-cropped image of Christ carrying his cross on the way to Calvary, while enduring beatings and insults. The tears are so real you want to stretch out and wipe them off. The ugly sneer of the Roman soldier pulling Christ's hair, and the fist just hitting his shoulder on the left side of the picture are details who add to the reality and horror of the scene.  This is the day when Mankind was saved, but also the day of Jesus' horrible execution. Thus the name Good Friday in English, Holy Friday (Vendredi Saint) in French, but also the name Long Friday (Langfredag) in Norwegian. And, whatever faith or religion, it can be agreed upon that this was a pivotal day in our history, and a day that carry lots of importance, in different ways, for people all around the world. It's a day of grief, sadness, despair and awfulness, but also a day of hope, salvation and mercy.

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