Offered by Don Verboven - Exquisite Objects
Exquisite Objects & Medieval works of Art
The Pensive Christ is a subject in Christian iconography depicting a contemplating Jesus, sitting on a stone with the "Crown of Thorns". It is, therefore, a picture of Jesus shortly before his crucifixion, although more a devotional subject than intended to show an actual moment in the narrative of the Passion of Christ. The Pensive Christ is much more common in sculpture than in painting, where the similar Man of Sorrows is more often depicted (in this Jesus is shown with the wounds of the crucifixion).
Most of the statues of the Pensive Christ were made around 1500 and in the first quarter of the 16th century, on the eve of the Reformation. Christ is depicted at a specific moment of his earthly suffering, when he rests while dragging the cross on the way to Golgotha. He is thus presented to the believer in his human nature and invites him to contemplation.