This artwork was so stunning that I had to share it with you guys… take a look!
As the title suggests, it’s of Calvary. A crowd gathers around to watch the Crucifixion of Jesus. It is an active scene; though the painting clearly cannot move, there is a sense of movement, from the raising of the cross that is to the right of Jesus to the fair-like atmosphere all around as people gather to watch the Crucifixion.
When I first saw this picture, the thing that struck me the most were that the colors were all wrong. Normally, images of the Crucifixion are dark with the colors being dark and full of the promise of blood. Even the environment is usually painted as stark and a wasteland, from the moon eclipsing the sun to the bones at the foot of the cross. Even the more lush scenes, like this artwork painted by Jan Brueghel’s brother, are more natural in color.
But this is not that sort of image. Yes, there are bones nearby. Yes, Christ is being crucified. But, at the same time, the sky is opened up in light. It is a sky that brings to mind the Nativity, not the Crucifixion.
It is a sky that promises hope.
We are surrounded by a shattered world that is full of death, in a culture of death, and it is tempting to look at it, throw our hands in the air, and lose all hope. And if we feel like that, can you imagine that how the first disciples must have felt seeing Jesus Christ be crucified! And yet, with that Crucifixion came the Resurrection. And, with the Resurrection, comes our hope.
And what is our hope?
It’s Jesus Christ.