Flagellazione e di Cristo – Juliana Harn

21 Apr

Juliana 3


Artist: Tiziano Vecellio (Also known as Titan)

Medium: Oil on Canvas

Date: c. 1510

Location: Borghese Gallery

This painting is unlike anything

I have ever seen.

Hanging in a corner,

It begs for no attention.

It is quiet

And dark

And easily passed by.

This painting is not big

Nor particularly noticeable

It has no bright colors

Nothing to make it especially stand out

In this small room, in a small gallery.

Until you stop.

Until you stop right in front of it.

Until Jesus’ face catches you off guard.

Until you realize that he his in the midst of the flogging.

In the middle of being tortured

Not far from death.

Until you see that he is looking up at his attackers.

Looking straight up at those who are hurting him,

Those who are torturing him,

Those who are flogging him, inches from death.

Until you see that he is looking at them with love in his eyes






He sees the depths of their hearts,

He feels their pain of their sin,

Just as he feels his own.

He sees the worst things they have done,

And he still loves them.

He feels the whips on his back,

And he still looks at them with love.

He still loves them.

I am stopped by this quiet, dark painting.

Pictures can never do a painting justice, but

I felt his love. As I stood there,

500 years after these oils were put on this canvas,

I stood there and I thought,

“If Jesus loved those who were killing him,

If he loved those who were hurting him,

Can I not love those who hurt me?

Who scoff at me, who leave me feeling




Unworthy of attention?

If he loved those who hurt him,

Can I love those who hurt me?”

And the answer to that question

Is always yes.

This small painting

In a corner of a back room

In a small gallery

Made me stop.

Made me think.

Made me feel.

And isn’t that what art is supposed to do?




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