Prints of the Man of Sorrow were widely widespread in Northern Europe after the mid-15th century. This image, originally drawn by Martin Schongauer, portrays Christ naked above the waist, wearing the crown of thorns, and displaying the wounds of the Passion marking his hands and side. The Virgin Mary and Saint John the Evangelist flank Christ and mourn his death. Images like these functioned as devotional tools meant to help the faithful to meditate on the Lord's suffering. By showing Christ's hand over his chest and the Virgin's hand on his side, he focused the viewer's attention on Christ's wounds. Similarly, Saint John's compassionate gaze provides a model of empathy for the beholder.
The Virgin's garment gently intrudes into the space of the viewer, as if to invite the beholder to participate more closely in this scene of compassion.