Christ is shown after the Flagellation, tied by his hands to the column. The blood-stained instruments of flagellation lie before him, in the foreground of the composition. On the right, at the bidding of the Guardian Angel, the Christian Soul, personified as a kneeling child, contemplates the suffering of Christ.
This subject was rarely treated in paintings. The figure of Christ reflects Italian, specifically Bolognese, figure-painting which Velázquez would have known from works in the Royal Collection in Madrid. The style and colouring of the picture suggest a date before the artist's first visit to Italy (1629-31).