The mocking of Christ
Methodist Collection of Modern Christian Art, No.28
Commentary by Francis Hoyland
The densely packed group of figures from the cohort, which had been 'called together', make up a single chunk of horrible masculinity.
It is extended below the figure of Christ by the mockery of the character on the ground. He together with the figure of Our Lord, forms an 'L' shape that repeats the right angle of the canvas and so welds Jesus into the compact mass of the painting.
His figure, heavily influenced by Georges Rouault (and why not?) does manage to be separated from the yobbish soldiers by a small gap and by the reed in his hand. Rogers 'has managed to keep his figure self-contained, quiet and still.
The group of soldiers forms a hollow square, one end of which is formed by Christ. In the centre of the group a spokesman mocks Christ with words from Isaiah.
'If the virtuous man is God's Son, God will take his part and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies. Let us test him with cruelty and torture and thus explore this gentleness of His and put His endurance to the test.'