Drops of blood are visible on Christ's brow as he carries the cross to his Crucifixion. The immediacy of this close-up image invites the viewer to contemplate the pain and meaning of Christ's sacrifice.
Associated with Leonardo da Vinci, Marco d'Oggiono subtly manipulated light and shadow in this work to heighten the impression of Christ's patient submission to his fate.
Images of Christ carrying the cross were extremely popular in northern Italy in the late 1400s. Oggiono made this painting and others like it for the purpose of private devotion.