Veronica (Face of Christ)
16th century, Oil on copper
The painting, in oil on copper, is a depiction of the veil of Saint Veronica, named after the woman who had cleansed the face of Jesus on the Cross on his way to Calvary. It is complemented by a rich silver-plated metal frame lavishly decorated with fruit, surmounted by two putti holding a crown. Although there are many Christian relics that Christian iconography have linked to Veronica's veil, it proves difficult to identify its correct location. The veil, tied in two knots at the upper corners of the composition, shows the face of Christ, crowned with thorns and with a bloody forehead and a golden halo. The contrast between the rich naturalism of the frame and the pensive realism of the face of Jesus may suggest an Italian artist of the early 17th century known as il Cappuccino or il Prete genovese, a painter who was also a priest. From the relatively few elements of this work, it is possible to identify some compositional similarities with the painting in Madrid.