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Man of Sorrows

christ image shown body

Christ as the Man of Sorrows (Latin: imago pietatis , image of self-sacrificing love; Greek: akra tapeinosis , utmost humiliation) is a nonnarrative devotional representation which first appears in Byzantine art of the twelfth century, although the type may have developed earlier. The image originated in connection with the Byzantine liturgy: the readings for Good Friday and Easter concerning the *death and *Resurrection of Christ. In Byzantine *icons, Christ is shown as a frontal figure, either three-quarter or half-length, against a plain background or in front of the *cross. His wounds are shown on his body; his head is often tilted to one side and his arms are folded across his body; his eyes may be open or closed. This powerful imagery was adapted in the west in the late twelfth and thirteenth centuries, possibly derived from a famous wonder-working icon brought to the Roman church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme . The image is frequently found in manuscript illumination, panel and wall painting, and, by the fourteenth century, in full-length figural sculpture especially in Germany The *Instruments of the Passion may be included, as well as an indication of Christ’s tomb, from which he may be shown emerging. Sometimes *angels, mourners, and worshippers are present; the dove of the *Holy Spirit and *God the Father may appear; the Virgin *Mary may support the body of Christ , or Mary and Saint *John the Evangelist may stand beside Christ. For other related themes.
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