Jesus in front of Pontius Pilate

Tintoretto - 1566-1567
oil on canvas - 515x380 cm
Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice

The scene takes place in front of the praetorian palace: the Son of God and Pilate are face to face, both standing on a throne, above the crowd which is witnessing the scene. The colors are generally dark, and the main shape is Jesus.

Standing in front of Pilato, with his hands and his feet tied, Jesus wears a white vest for Herod's will: some say it was a sign of madness, and Herod wanted to make fun of him; others say that the shite vest is sign of purity.

Meanwhile, a servant pours water on Pilate's hands so that he can wash them, and him, intent in this act, looks away from the silhouette of Jesus, but not so much due to the commitment in this action, but for another reason. In fact, this painting depicts a scene from the Bible where Christ is brought in front of Pontius Pilate by Jews, on charges of having proclaimed himself King. Once at the presence of the Roman governor, he is asked a question by the latter: "Are you king or not?". Jesus, heard these words, affirms that his kingdom doesn't belong neither to the jews nor to Pilate, neither to Rome, neither to others on the earth. Pilate is confused because he is not able to understand the mysteries of God and the faith.

Tintoretto emphasizes this confusion by portraying the prosecutor's head turned in a different direction than Christ's position and depicting at the bottom, next to the throne, an old man who pretends to write what is happening, without touching the scroll with the pen.