Christ as the Man of Sorrows

Image credit: Birmingham Museums Trust

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This tiny panel would have been used for private prayer and meditation. Christ is depicted as both Man of Sorrows and Heavenly Judge. He wears an elaborate, floriated, tripartite nimbus and stands not in his tomb but in water (the lapis lazuli blue has darkened) symbolising the Water of Life. To either side stand mourning angels who hold back a green curtain in a format that is familiar from royal dynastic portraits, although the motif may refer to the biblical tabernacle. The angel with frowning brow bears the sword of judgement and the other, the lilies of mercy, reminding the devout that they will not escape the Day of Judgement but that Christ is also merciful. Despite his magnificence, the anguished face of the bearded Christ gazes toward the viewer.


Christ as the Man of Sorrows




oil on panel


H 11.2 x W 8.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

presented by the Feeney Charitable Trust, 1935

Work type


Inscription description

Inscription, handwritten, reverse


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