Saturday, 3 March 2018

Via Crucis - The Path of the Cross

Last year I have started drawing the fourteen stages of the "Via Crucis" or the way of the Cross. 
This project took me a few months to complete and it was finished long after Easter. 
It took some time to find an hour or so to make pictures of all fourteen drawings in the same light conditions and so I am publishing my "Path of the Cross" now, a few weeks before Easter.

The stages of the "Via Crucis" have been painted many times before, but I am a landscape painter so I have only painted the landscape and added the Cross to that. There are no human figures. As the story develops I have given the Cross more and more emphasis in the scene.

The references I used are pictures my son Martijn and my daughter-in-law Claudia have made during their stay in Jerusalem, in May 2016. Some of the reference pictures were made in the Via Dolorosa, most of them were made at very different places. I have used my imagination to find a suitable picture for the scene I was about to draw.

Charcoal was chosen because of the fierceness of the subject, watercolour is much too gentle for what I was going to depict.
In some of the drawings I have used Tinted Charcoal pencils, to give just a hint of colour to the scene. 

Here are the fourteen scenes of the Via Crucis

Via Crucis I - Jesus is sentenced to death.

Via Crucis II - Jesus takes the Cross on his shoulders

Via Crucis III - Jesus falls for the first time

Via Crucis IV - Jesus meets his Holy Mother

Via Crucis V - Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the Cross

Via Crucis VI - Veronica dries the face of Jesus

Via Crucis VII - Jesus falls for the second time

Via Crucis VIII - Jesus consoles the weeping women

Via Crucis IX - Jesus falls for the third time

Via Crucis X - The clothes of Jesus are taken from him

Via Crucis XI - Jesus is nailed to the Cross

Via Crucis XII - Jesus dies on the Cross

Via Crucis XIII - Jesus is taken from the Cross

Via Crucis XIV - Jesus is placed in the grave

When I started this series of fourteen drawings I thought I could 'keep my distance' from the subject. 
Every Roman Catholic church has a depiction of the Via Crucis in its walls.
The story is familiar of course, we hear and read it every year on Good Friday when the Via Crucis and the death of Jesus is remembered.
And yet I was taken in by the story I was depicting...

More information about these fourteen drawings can be found at my website 

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