Parallel to the large-figured history paintings by Peter Paul Rubens, the older tradition of illustrating scenes from the Bible and from ancient mythology and history in little cabinet pictures with small figures lived on. Frans Francken the Younger was the most important proponent of this type of picture; he was very successful with his works that were mostly painted on wood or copper.
This scene from the Passion of Christ is a characteristic example of his work. Diverging from tradition, Francken presented the road to Golgotha in a vertical format instead of a horizontal one. This enabled him to present the protagonists in the foreground: Christ, additionally emphasised by the halo made of gold leaf, is collapsing under the weight of the cross while St Veronica offers him the veil on which his face will later be imprinted and, to the left, Simon of Cyrene strongly protests having to take on carrying the cross.