Saturday, 18 October 2014

The Lamentation over the Dead Christ

The original painting is by Jusepe de Ribera. He painted it in the early 1620s.

The dead Christ is being held by Saint John the Evangelist. His mother Mary is in the middle, hands clasped in prayer. Other artists have chose to paint the scene with Mary holding the dead Christ. 

Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea are often included. In the Bible they are followers of Christ who believe he is dead forever so they prepare his body for burial. Here they are omitted by Ribera, who has favored a simpler scene.  

Magdalen is at his feet to wash them with her tears, or to kiss them. She got to know Christ when she was cured of seven devils by him. 

Mourning over the dead Christ immediately after his body was brought down from the Cross is not described in the text of the Bible. However it is a scene with a long pictorial tradition. 

It was commissioned by a foreign prince called Marcantonio Doria. Here he is, as painted by Simon Vouet.

This painting can be found in the Louvre Museum in Paris- in Richelieu wing, alongside a collection of clocks, furniture, china and tapestries. On the same floor are the Napoleon III Apartments. They show what Louvre looked like as a royal palace. 

Ribena also painted Christ as a baby. He paints Christ on his mothers lap, but he is not being held by her here either.

The painting is called 'Madonna with the Christ Child and Saint Bruno' 

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