Christ carries his cross to Calvary which can be seen in the landscape at the upper left. He has fallen to the ground and Saint Veronica, who kneels to the right, holds out her veil to him. According to Veronica's legend, which is not related in the Bible, she wiped Christ's face with her veil (sudarium), and his features were miraculously imprinted on it. The name Veronica means true likeness ('vera ikon'). Behind her are the Virgin and Saint John.

The composition, like several others by Bassano, was inspired by an engraving after Raphael's version of the subject (Prado, Madrid).


  • Title: The Way to Calvary
  • Creator: Jacopo Bassano
  • Date Created: about 1544-5
  • Physical Dimensions: 145.3 x 132.5 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • School: Italian (Venetian)
  • More Info: Explore the National Gallery’s paintings online
  • Inventory number: NG6490
  • Artist Dates: active about 1535; died 1592
  • Artist Biography: Jacopo dal Ponte, called Bassano, is the most famous of a family of painters from Bassano in the Veneto. He was mainly active also in Venice and the Veneto. Bassano developed a rustic, realistic and expressive style indebted to prints by Dürer, and was a pioneer in Italy of night scenes. Jacopo Bassano was probably first trained by his father, Francesco, and then in Venice with Bonifazio Veronese. His earliest known works, produced in Bassano, date from the later 1530s. Bassano was grounded in Venetian painting, particularly in the work of Titian and Lotto. In addition to the influence of Northern prints, his expressive style was indebted, from about 1540, to the work of Raphael and Parmigianino.
  • Acquisition Credit: Bought with a contribution from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, 1984

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