Stations of the Cross in Art

By Amelia Hamilton Published on April 3, 2015

Today is Good Friday, liturgically the day that Jesus died for us. Many Christians will mark it by attending a Stations of the Cross service at their church. This service takes congregants through scenes from Jesus’ condemnation to death, helping us to understand the sacrifice that he made for us on that day.

Traditionally, there will be fourteen scenes, many of which have been represented in art throughout history. These scenes come through different media, different artists, countries, and time periods, but they all speak to the love Christ has for us.

1. Jesus is condemned to death.

Jesus about to be struck in front of the High Priest Annas, as in John 18:22, depicted by Madrazo, 1803.

Jesus about to be struck in front of the High Priest Annas, as in John 18:22, depicted by Madrazo, 1803.

2. Jesus picks up his cross.

Andrea di Bartolo, Way to Calvary, c. 1400.

Andrea di Bartolo, Way to Calvary, c. 1400.

3. Jesus falls for the first time.

Christ Falling on the Way to Calvary, Raphael, 1516–1517

Christ Falling on the Way to Calvary, Raphael, 1516–1517

4. Jesus meets his sorrowful mother.

Church of Notre-Dame-des-Champs, Avranches, Manche, Normandie, France

Church of Notre-Dame-des-Champs, Avranches, Manche, Normandie, France

5. Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry the cross.

Peter Paul Rubens "Christ and Mary Magdalene" (1618)

Peter Paul Rubens, “Christ and Mary Magdalene” (1618)

6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.

Saint Veronica, by Hans Memling.

Saint Veronica, Hans Memling

7. Jesus falls a second time.

Church of Notre-Dame-des-Champs, Avranches, Manche, Normandie, France

Church of Notre-Dame-des-Champs, Avranches, Manche, Normandie, France

8. Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem.

Station 8 of the calvary mountain in Lourdes, France

Station 8 of the calvary mountain in Lourdes, France

9. Jesus falls a third time.

Die katholische Filialkirche St. Martin in Leutenbach, Gemeinde Deining in der Oberpfalz:

Die katholische Filialkirche St. Martin in Leutenbach, Gemeinde Deining in der Oberpfalz

10. Jesus is stripped of his garments.

Jesus Stripped of His Clothing, Brooklyn Museum of Art

Jesus Stripped of His Clothing, Brooklyn Museum of Art

11. Jesus is crucified.

The Crucifixion (1622) by Simon Vouet; Church of Jesus, Genoa

The Crucifixion (1622) by Simon Vouet; Church of Jesus, Genoa

12. Jesus dies on the cross.

Saint Mary Magdalene Church (Columbus, Ohio)

Saint Mary Magdalene Church (Columbus, Ohio)

13. Jesus is taken down from the cross.

Rogier van der Weyden. The Descent from the Cross. (c.1435)

Rogier van der Weyden. The Descent from the Cross. (c. 1435)

14. Jesus is laid in the tomb.

The Entombment of Christ by Caravaggio.

The Entombment of Christ by Caravaggio

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