Giambattista Tiepolo, The Ascent to Calvary

Late 1730's
Sant'Alvise, Venice, Italy

In the painting Jesus falls under his burden and at the same moment a soldier (on the left in a helmet) pushes Simon forward to take up the cross. This follows the traditional idea that the cross was carried out of the pretorium by Jesus but then assigned to Simon, because Jesus was exhausted after the torments suffered during the morning and the preceding night.

In the foreground is one of two stone blocks along the path. The other one, less easy to make out, is the one that causes Jesus to fall to the ground. As Guilbeau points out, such blocks establish a typological relationship between the fall and Psalm 139:6b, "they have laid for me a stumblingblock by the wayside."

View this image in full resolution.
Read more about images of the Way of the Cross.

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