The Crown of Thorns Icon of Jesus Christ

The Crown of Thorns Icon of Jesus Christ

Icon painting is a unique form of art, which makes you experience different emotions and feel a connection with God. One of the most revered icons that express inexplicable pain and sorrow is the Crown of Thorns icon. Having entered the Orthodox world from Catholicism, the image of this religious story became popular in the second half of the 19th century. Christ, being a center of the icon, is always portrayed in a naturalistic manner to convey the unbearable torment and the Holy Spirit before His death.

Jesus, King of Judah

The story of this religious plot is based on the text of the Evangelist Matthew. It describes the scene of the torture and mockery of the captive Christ when the Roman soldiers placed a crown of thorns on His head, proclaiming Him the King of Judah, to inflict pain and ridicule Him before the eyes of all those who have praised Him up to that point. The soldiers were completely unaware of the fact that the man who suffered in front of them was the Lord Himself.

The Crown of Thorns icon

Icons of this type depict Jesus with pain in His eyes. His head is bleeding from the sharp thorns of the crown, which symbolizes the Passions of Christ and the last period of His life on earth. Another element of Christ’s mockery is a scarlet robe that in the Crown of Thorns icon usually covers the left shoulder of the Savior as a symbol of royalty. The figure of Jesus Christ expresses both terrible pain and the conquest of the fear of death.

The Crown of Thorns in art

The Crown of Thorns Icon of Jesus Christ

The religious story of the Crucifixion and torture of Christ is often reflected in art. One of the artists who magnificently conveyed this scene in his painting “Christ in the crown of thorns” was Peter Rubens. In this artwork, Jesus is depicted in royal attire and the crown of thorns, standing next to Pontius Pilate. The image is completely naturalistic, with the colors of red and black shades symbolizing death and pain.

This religious story also appears in the paintings by Viktor Vasnetsov and the Italian painter Guido Reni, depicting the same features and emotions common to this type of image.

Now you know a little more about the Crown of Thorns icon of Jesus Christ and its reflection in the world of art. Stay with us to learn more about other important religious icons!

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons User ExorcisioTe / CC BY-SA 4.0