The Entry into Jerusalem
Egg tempera on gesso on canvas on wood
Russia, first half 19th century, Palekh
35.5 x 31 cms
Private collection, Germany
The Entry into Jerusalem is commemorated on the Sunday before Easter, Palm Sunday. It marks the start of Holy Week. Christ instructed his disciples to bring a donkey, on which He rode to the gates of Jerusalem. The crowd welcomed Him like a king, waving palm-branches and crying Hosanna. While kings and emperors would enter the city on horseback, He chose the common man’s means of transport, a beast of burden. Jesus sits on the donkey, blessing the crowd. He looks back over his shoulder at the disciples walking behind Him. The names of the disciples are written in their halos. The background shows a large tree in the middle, on the left a rocky mass, and on the right the city gate of Jerusalem. The Entry into Jerusalem marks the final phase of Christ’s earthly ministry. On Palm Sunday He was greeted like a king with Hosannas. A week later, on Good Friday, the shouts were Crucify Him.