Matthew 27:32-44 As they were marching out, they came upon a man of Cyre′ne, Simon by name; this man they compelled to carry his cross. And when they came to a place called Gol′gotha (which means the place of a skull), they offered him wine to drink, mingled with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots; then they sat down and kept watch over him there. And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus the King of the Jews.” Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him; for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.
Accounts of the trial and death of Jesus Christ are described in all four of the canonical gospels. The earliest surviving visual representation of the crucified Christ on the Cross is preserved on a panel of an ivory casket carved in Northern Italy around 420 A.D. The selection of works in this case include a Missal, a book of sermons, a narrative, and two prayer books; why does the image of the Crucifixion appear in so many types of texts? According to art historian André Grabar, images of Christ on the Cross represent more than illustration of the Crucifixion, they represent the doctrine of Incarnation. According to Grabar, the creators of Christian imagery have historically maintained an active interest in affirming the Christian doctrine. Starting in the Middle Ages, representations of the Crucifixion became more prevalent (and more realistic) as Christian devotion to the Passion became popular across Europe. In the period that followed, up until the eighteenth century, innumerable devotional works related to the Passion of Christ were produced.