Christ Carrying the Cross
Artist/maker unknown, active Antwerp, Netherlandish
Antwerp became the busiest port in Europe during the early years of the sixteenth century. The increase in mercantile activity gave rise to a large and wealthy class of citizens who became great patrons of art, particularly painting. The ready market for paintings led in turn to the development of large workshops, where paintings were made "on speculation" for these merchants to buy. The style of painting that developed in this period, commonly called "Antwerp Mannerism," usually includes highly decorative, brightly colored costumes, like those worn by Christ's tormentor on the left and Saint Veronica in the center.