Sant'Apollinare Nuovo's Passion Cycle: Detail, The Way of the Cross

6th century
Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna

Soldiers lead Jesus to Calvary. Behind the soldier in blue is Caiaphas, who is also pictured in the same garb in the scenes of Jesus' trial before the Sanhedrin and Judas' attempt to return the money. Behind Caiaphas is an associate of his in the same clothing, hair, and beard as the accuser in the Trial Before the Sanhedrin and (possibly) the Pharisee in The Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican.

On the right in the red tunic, Simon of Cyrene carries the cross, as the synoptic gospels specify. (In John's gospel, Jesus carries the cross himself.) Like two of the men to the left, Simon is pictured with only one leg, an oversight perhaps incident to the revising of the mosaics in 561.

This is one of the 13 mosaics of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ along the upper band of the right wall of the nave.

View this image in full resolution.
See also a view of the entire left wall with commentary on the iconography of Jesus and the apostles in these mosaics.
Read more about images of the Way of the Cross.
Go to the Christian Iconography home page.

Photographed at the church by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.