Fall on the way to Calvary (Caída en el camino del Calvario)
The dramatic quality of the religious expression gives this second tapestry in the series of The Passion of Christ an exceptional relief and visual power. The composition and chromatic harmony of the scene are enhanced by the beauty and brilliance of the border.
The fall on the way to Calvary
Jesus, bearing the cross, collapses under its weight in the foreground, before the compassionate gestures and painful grimaces of the saintly women. His mother, Mary, faints among them and is held by the apostle John. The serene and shining face of Jesus, sprinkled with blood shed because of the crown of thorns, contrasts with the marked and caricatural gestures of the executioners, who mock and brutally harass him to make him stand up. On a second plane, an ample procession of soldiers, trumpeters and knights comes out through one of the gates of Jerusalem. On the background there is a meticulous view of the city with a representation of Ecce Homo, the presentation of Christ to the crowd from the praetorial atrium. The scene is topped by Golgotha, where the crosses of the convicts rise on a minute scale.
Flowers, fruits and a monogram
The polychrome bunches of flowers and fruits, and the successive bowls comprising the border stand out over the dark background. The mark of Brussels in Brabant -B▼B- appears for the first time in this red silk selvage, which is traversed by a central edge of goldthread, before it became mandatory by imperial decree.
The two B’s woven with goldthread in the lower selvage, flanking a red shield, were the quality monogram for tapestries woven in Brussels, the capital of the Duchy of Brabant. This mark was adopted by an ordinance passed in the Low Countries on May 15th, 1528, and it was imposed on Flemish weavers after being sanctioned by imperial decree of Charles V in 1544.
Series The Passion of Christ
Second tapestry in the series
Models Cartoonist Bernard van Orley
Manufacture Pieter de Pannemaker, Brussels, c. 1518-1523.
Fabric Gold, silver, silk and wool
Size 346 x 344 cm
Location Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, Segovia.
Origin The collection of Emperor Charles V
On display Tapestry Museum of the Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, Segovia. It is exhibited in the second room of the museum together with the tapestries ‘The Last Supper’ and ‘Pentecost’, and the three other tapestries from The Passion of Christ, the tapestry cycle to which it belongs.
National Heritage Inv. 10005689