Fra Angelico and Assistants
The Man of Sorrows

Convent of San Marco, Florence, Italy

This fresco is in one of the individual friars' cells in the convent. Many of them have been identified as works of Fra Angelico. This one has not, but the style is similar.

Usually Christ as the Man of Sorrows is pictured either alone or accompanied by Mary, John, and sometimes other the mourners mentioned in the gospels. But sometimes a saint from later times is added, in this case St. Thomas Aquinas, who is identified by his pen and book. The Virgin Mary, always dressed in a flowing purple garment in the cell frescos, sits at left.

Another feature seen only occasionally is the addition of disjoined images that remind the viewer of the actual sorrows that the man Jesus suffered: Judas's kiss, the silver he received for his betrayal, the buffeting and spitting, the sponge with vinegar, the spear that pierced his side, and of course the cross itself. A church in Austria has a Man of Sorrows fresco with an even greater number of such images.

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