The J. Paul Getty Museum

Christ Carrying the Cross (recto); The Resurrection (verso)

Object Details


Christ Carrying the Cross (recto); The Resurrection (verso)


Sodoma (Giovanni Antonio Bazzi) (Italian, 1477 - 1549)




Italy (Place Created)


about 1535


Pen and brown ink, brush with brown wash, heightened with white gouache, over black chalk (recto); brush and brown ink and white gouache heightening (verso) on brownish paper

Object Number:



18.7 × 21.4 cm (7 3/8 × 8 7/16 in.)

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Object Description

While Christ bends beneath a heavy cross, he still retains a serene air. In contrast, the soldier on the right glares back at him ferociously, seemingly determined to add to Christ's burden by pressing down on the cross. Sodoma focused on these facial expressions to emphasize the peace of God, even amidst suffering.

Sodoma used a highly elaborate technique to draw this scene, with considerable white heightening to create painterly effects for both the faces and the garments of the figures. He drew the Resurrection on the verso in a more calm, classical manner with a more linear technique. Brush and brown ink delineate Christ's muscular body as he emerges from the edge of the tomb with one foot still inside. Cross-hatching and white heightening build up the folds of drapery that flow around him. Sodoma made this study in preparation for a 1535 fresco of the Resurrection in a public building in Siena.

From Line to Light: Renaissance Drawing in Florence and Venice (July 20 to October 10, 2010) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 20 to October 10, 2010