Passion of Christ: Mid 15th century cycles
(See Arma Christi Roll a 14th Century - an illustrated poem of Christ's Passion)

In the Rhineland, shortly after Margery Kempe dictated here book, many significant building and glazing campaigns developed.  Around 1460-70 a stained glass workshop associated with the glazing of the cloister of St. Cecilia (now destroyed) produced elaborate, detailed and widely spread images of Christís life for use in cloisters or other locations where the viewer would be on eye level with the image. The attention to facial expression and the physical suffering of Christ parallels the empathetic detail that characterizes the descriptions by Margery Kempe of her "visions" of Christís Passion, especially beginning with chapter 80.  Both image and Kempeís mediations are probably influenced by the enactment of the Passion in liturgical dramas of the time.  Art of this type, even in its meticulous draftsmanship, was common in England, exemplified by a panel of the Crucifixion in St. Peterís Church, Stockerston (Leics.): Sarah Crew, Stained Glass in England 1180-1540 (London, 1987), fig. 30.
The following images are from two of the locations where this mid-15th-century glass has been dispersed: the Sacraments Chapel of the Cathedral of Cologne and the parish church of Great Bookham (Bucks.), England. For the most complete overview see Herbert Rode, "Die Kreuzgangfenster von St. Cäcilien: Ein christologischer Zyklus in der Sakramentskapelle des Kölner Domes," Kölner Domblatt, 16/17, 1959, pp. 79-96, and Id., Die mittelalterlichen Glasmalereien des Kölner Domes (Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi Deutschland, 4/1), Berlin, 1974, pp.-149-62.
1)  Christ presented to Pilate
2)  Pilate washing his hands; Pilate wife tells him to distance himself from this judgment since she had dreams of Christ
3)  Christ is scourged with whips, called the Flagellation.
4)  Detail of the Flagellation
5)  Christ is Crowned with thorns and mocked
6)  Detail of torturer and sticking out his tongue and pulling Christ beard (as foretold by the prophet Isaiah 50:6 "I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who plucked my beard: my face I did not shield from buffets and spitting.") © Raguin/MMK
7)  Detail of torturer about to spit on Christ © Raguin/MMK
8)  Christ brought before the crowd after being beaten and mocked. This is the "Ecce Homo" (behold the man) scene. Pilate asks the crowd what to do with him; the response is crucifixion.
9)  Christ carries his cross through the streets while being pushed and beaten.
10)  Christís face shows the pain of his ordeal. © Raguin/MMK
11)  An indifferent or vindictive group watches his suffering. © Raguin/MMK
12)  Christ is nailed to the cross, accepting his fate meekly.
13)  Christ is Crucified. To the left, John, in red, holds the swooning Virgin, in blue. The centurion pierces Christís side with a lance (and is cured of blindness) The two thieves die next to him.
14)  Christ is laid in the tomb by Joseph of Arimathea © Raguin/MMK
15)  John and the Holy Women anoint the Body © Raguin/MMK
16)  The sorrow on the womenís faces is clearly depicted. © Raguin/MMK
17)  Christís body is shown with its wounds from the lance, nails, and the scourging.
Other images from the era of Margery Kempe show similar heightened emotionalism
18)  Crucifixion with angels holding cups to catch Christís blood, stained glass, St.-Pierre-le-Vieux, Strasbourg, c. 1400
19)  Detail of Christ from Crucifixion © Raguin/MMK, stained glass, St.-Pierre-le-Vieux, Strasbourg, c. 1400
20)  Christ on Cross, stained glass, Germany, c. 1440 (Erfurt exhibition)
21)  Detail of Christ on Cross, stained glass, Germany, c. 1440 (Erfurt exhibition)
22)  Flagellation, stained glass, Francisican Church (Minoritenkirche), Regensberg, c. 1280, Bayerisches National Museum, Munich, Germany.
Resurrection © Raguin/MMK, stained glass, Church of Saints Peter and Paul, East Harling, c. 1463-80.
Ascension © Raguin/MMK, stained glass, Church of Saints Peter and Paul, East Harling, c. 1463-80.
Wounds of Christ
For more detailed explanation of the importance of the wounds in Late Medieval devotion, click here
Five Wounds, © Raguin/MMK painted molding pattern with (above) IHS monograph of the name of Jesus, and (below) the Five Wounds, Monastery of St. Michael the Archangel, Huejotzingo, Mexico, 1530s.
Five Wounds, © Raguin/MMK painted molding pattern, Monastery of St. Michael the Archangel, Huejotzingo, Mexico, 1530s.
  Man of Sorrows
Man of Sorrows in The Christ of St. Gregory, panel painting, 1480-90, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts, 1938.80. Represents the vision of St. Gregory the Great when Christ appeared as the saint was saying mass. This legend described Christ sitting, displaying his wounds, and invariably flaked by angels and/or symbols of the Passion. Given the widespread veneration of the blood and wounds of Christ in the late Middle Ages, this became a very popular image.