Bruegel continues the Netherlandish pictorial tradition reaching back to Jan van Eyck whereby the carrying of the cross is portrayed as a many-figured procession leading from Jerusalem to Golgotha. Yet the scenery is greatly extended to match contemporary life. This is indeed Bruegel’s most populous picture full of observation of ordinary life and realism as it was in the artist’s day. Only the three Marys and John stand out from prevalent fashion by their dress. The figure to the far right is presumed to be a self–portrait of the artist.
Overall: 124,3 cm × 170,6 cm × 1 cm
Framed: 145,2 cm × 191,3 cm × 10,5 cm
Inscribed at lower right: BRVEGEL. MD.LXIIII
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie
1566 Nicolaas Jongelinck; probably in 1566 it became property of the city of Antwerp; estate of Archduke Ernst 1595 (?); Rudolf II; 1748 from the treasury into the gallery; 1781 Pressburg (?); 1783 in the gallery documented;
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