Artist: William Hole
Medium: Printed book illustration
Size: 29 x 24 cm
Location: From “The Life of Jesus of
Mark 15:23 Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.
Pious women of Jerusalem normally prepared a solution like wine mixed with myrrh and offered it to those being executed to dull their pain, as Myrrh is said to have narcotic effects (Proverbs 31:6). Jesus, however, chose to face the full agony of the crucifixion.
This illustration, one of eighty published in 1905 as “The Life of Jesus of Nazareth Portrayed in Colours”, is an attempt to portray only what was visible to the outward eye of a contemporary observer. In the background chaos swirls, with debating elders, the approaching mob, and legionnaires brandishing whips for crowd control. In the foreground the work of Jesus’ crucifixion begins. To the right of the image, flanked by two disdainful elders, a soldier calmly pours into a bowl the wine and myrrh that Jesus would refuse.
William Hole (b.