Martin Schongauer's series of the Passion of Christ was his largest set of engravings, made around 1480, and extensively copied across Europe. It consists of twelve prints detailing the suffering of Christ in the last days of his life. Schongauer's version focuses on crowded scenes, grotesque physiognomies of Christ's tormentors, and great pathos in the compositions. Here, a long procession exits the city gate of Jerusalem. Christ, at the center, is weighed down by the heavy cross which he must carry to Calvary. On the left, the Virgin Mary cries for the imminent death of her son, while Veronica holds the sudarium, used to wipe his sweat and blood, and imprinted with his face.

Veronica's veil, or the sudarium, retained an imprint of Christ's face and was believed in the late Middle Ages to have the power to self-replicate each time it came into contact with other clothes.


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