Man of Sorrows  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Man of Sorrows (Maarten van Heemskerck)

Among the passages in the Hebrew Bible that have been identified by Christians as prefigurations of the Messiah, the Man of Sorrows of Isaiah 53 is paramount - the various theological traditions are discussed at that article. The phrase translated into English as "Man of Sorrows" ("virum dolorum" in the Vulgate, in German Schmerzensmann) occurs at verse 3:

3) He is despised and rejected of men, a Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. And we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. 4) Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5) But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed. 6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

The iconic devotional image called the "Man of Sorrows" shows Christ, usually naked above the waist, with the wounds of his Passion prominently displayed on his hands and side, often crowned with the Crown of Thorns, and sometimes attended by angels. It developed in Europe in from the 13th century, and was especially popular in Northern Europe. The image continued to spread and develop iconographical complexity until well after the Renaissance, but "the Man of Sorrows in its many artistic forms is the most precise visual expression of the piety of the later Middle Ages, which took its character from mystical contemplation rather than from theological speculation". Together with the Pietá, it was the most popular of the Andachtsbilder-type images of the period - devotional images detached from the narrative of Christ's Passion.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Man of Sorrows" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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