Christ Bearing the Cross

Artist: Nicolaos Tzafouris (Greek, ca. 1455–1500/1501)

Medium: Oil and tempera on wood, gold ground

Dimensions: 27 1/4 x 21 1/2 in. (69.2 x 54.6 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Funds from various donors, 1929

Accession Number: 29.158.746


Nicholaos Tzafouris was one of the many icon painters working in the city of Candia (now Iraklion) in Crete at the time when Crete was under the control of Venice. The combination of Byzantine and Latin elements seen in many Cretan icons was well received locally and in Italy. The Greek inscription on this icon describes a Byzantine icon type in which soldiers drag Christ to Golgotha. The image here, however, is western in type, showing Christ carrying the cross to Golgotha. The soldier before Christ wears contemporary Italian armor, and those behind him wear Byzantine or Cretan armor.