The Passion, Painting by Hans Memling (1433-1494)

Memling, Hans (1425/40-1494): The Passion. Turin, Galleria Sabauda

From Christian.Art

Flemish painter, Hans Memling, managed to paint 23 vignettes of the life of Christ into one painting, including all episodes of the Passion of Christ. If you are looking at this painting on your mobile phone, I suggest you look at this painting on our website where you can enlarge it and enjoy all the magnificent detail (click here). [Here’s a challenge:  try to identify all 23 scenes.] You should be able to find the following: 

  1. Jesus rides into the city on a donkey on Palm Sunday – top left
  2. Jesus driving the money-changers out of the Temple – to the right of the entry of Jesus
  3. Judas betrays Jesus to the High Priests – down and to the left from the temple scene, in a narrow candle-lit archway
  4. The Last Supper – to the left of the betrayal, in a building with a pitched roof
  5. Prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane – below the Last Supper; three apostles lie sleeping while Jesus prays
  6. Arrest of Christ – down and right from the garden
  7. Denial of Peter – above and right from the arrest: Peter shown in a doorway, with cock crowing above
  8. Christ before Pilate – left of centre; Pilate on his throne (Station of the Cross no.1)
  9. Scourging of Christ – the very centre 
  10. Second interrogation of Christ by Pilate – right of centre, skipping across two scenes in a narrow building set back
  11. Crowning with Thorns – right of the scourging
  12. Ecce Homo – right from the crowning with thorns
  13. Preparing of the Cross – down and left, below the scourging
  14. Carrying of the Cross and Simon of Cyrene – below and proceeding to the right, a procession leaves from the city gate, Stations 3 and 5
  15. Jesus is nailed on the cross – top, right of centre, Station of the Cross 11
  16. Crucifixion – above, to the left, Station of the Cross 12
  17. Descent from the cross – to the right, Station of the Cross 13
  18. The Entombment – below the descent from the cross, Station of the Cross 14
  19. Christ in Limbo – to the right of the procession, Christ with a crucifix
  20. Resurrection – above limbo, with the guards asleep
  21. Meeting with Mary Magdalene: Noli me Tangere – above the resurrection
  22. The Road to Emmaus – top right
  23. Appearance before the Apostles at the Sea of Galilee – to the left of the meeting with Mary Magdalene.

Here’s a further challenge. Each of these events have modern day counterparts. What are some of these? e.g. Jesus rides into the city on a donkey on Palm Sunday — Jesus comes into our life through the love of other people, and acts of justice.

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