In a catalogue description Hunt wrote (or, more likely, dictated) for the City Art Gallery, Leeds in September 1903, at which time the museum acquired the smaller version of the picture from the bequest of C. G. Oates, he explained a further resemblance: "Josephus records that offenders were often transfixed to a wall in their crucifixion. Hence the resemblance would have been to the Mother a striking premonition of her Son's impending fate. The tools were painted from a primitively fashioned set, the arrangement of which would naturally suggest the figure of the 'accursed tree.'"

Last modified December 2001