Today is Palm Sunday, or Passion Sunday, when Western Christians celebrate Jesus’ Entry into Jerusalem. The event is recounted in all four Gospels and marks the first day of Holy Week (Mt. 21:1-10; Mk. 11:1-11; Lk. 19: 28-40; Jn. 12: 12-19). As the first of the so-called Passion Scenes, The Entry Into Jerusalem appears frequently in Italian narratives where artists captured the jubilation of the crowd, who shouted “Hosanna, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”  Onlookers acclaim Jesus, who rides on a humble donkey in fulfillment of prophesy, and pave the way with their cloaks and palm branches. Artists typically show young boys climbing trees for a better view, a motif inherited from Byzantine art.

Giotto, Entry into Jerusalem, fresco, 1305, Scrovegni Chapel, Padua

Roman, Entry into Jerusalem, marble, late 4th cent., Adelphia Sarcophagus, detail, Museo Paolo Orsi, Siracusa, Sicily

Italian Mosaicist, Entry into Jerusalem, mosaic, 1140-70, sanctuary, south wall, Cappella Palatina, Palermo

Pietro Lorenzetti, Entry of Christ into Jerusalem, fresco, c. 1320, Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi

Lorenzo Ghiberti, Entry into Jerusalem, gilded bronze, 1403-24, Baptistry, Florence

Melozzo da Forli, Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem, fresco, 1477-82, Basilica of Santa Casa, Loreto

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