Already weak from beatings and the labor of carrying his heavy cross, Jesus falls for a second time. A man named Simon of Cyrene, a resident of North Africa, is pressed into service to help with the burden. Taking him roughly by the shoulders, the guards urge Simon, clothed in a short blue tunic, to carry the long central beam, as Jesus lies motionless on the cobbled street.
Following the procession, a boy carries the title that will be affixed to the Cross. Spelled out in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, the sign, written by Pilate, reads: “Jesus of Nazareth, The King of the Jews.”
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James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). Simon the Cyrenian Compelled to Carry the Cross with Jesus (Simon de Cyrène contraint de porter la Croix avec Jésus), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 7 15/16 x 11 11/16 in. (20.2 x 29.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.281
Purchased by public subscription
Image: 7 15/16 x 11 11/16 in. (20.2 x 29.7 cm); Sheet: 7 15/16 x 11 11/16 in. (20.2 x 29.7 cm)