The Entry into Jerusalem
Enlarge (20MB) Zoom in
This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

Ottonian, Regensburg, about 1030 - 1040
Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment
9 1/8 x 6 5/16 in.

Add to Getty Bookmarks

Accompanied by his apostles and hailed by a man perched in the branches of a tree beside the road, Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem upon an ass, an event commemorated on Palm Sunday. This depiction recalls the Roman emperor's Adventus, or ceremonial entry into a city, which could include citizens throwing their cloaks onto the ground before him. John the Evangelist interpreted the event as the realization of the Old Testament prophet Zechariah's claim: "Behold, your king is coming, sitting on an ass's colt." The placement of the figures on a solid field of gold, seemingly floating above the ground line, creates a sense of otherworldliness and emphasizes the sacred nature of the event.