This scene depicts the "Trial of Christ". After Christ was captured he was brought before Pilate who asked him questions to find if he was guilty of any civil crime, but could find none. As customary at the Passover, one prisoner chosen by the people was released by the governor, so Pilate asked if he should free Barrabas or Christ, but the people wanted Barrabas released and Christ crucified. Pilate subsequently "washed" his hands of the crime to signify his refusal to be morally implicated in the decision.
Ecclesiastical institutions formed an important part of the commissions received by the Marche ateliers of Aubusson and Felletin. One fine example from the early 18th century depicting 'Christ washing the feet of the Apostles' is in the Musee des Gobelins, Paris